Bruce Layman

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File under things worth believing in: Plain Text.

Jeff Huang uses a single, plain text file for all of his productivity.

I’ve tried adopting this, with the slight modification to Taskpaper format—mostly for the cool tagging features—and this gives me exactly what I need in a digital productivity system. I still use paper for capturing and brain dumps and even short lists of what must be done today, but having this single text file as a running record is incredibly helpful.

I’ve broken mine into sections (Projects in Taskpaper parlance) with an Inbox at the top, month projects with nested day projects under each, and an archive at the bottom. Taskpaper’s ability to collapse and search or filter for specifc tags is just enough to show me only what I need to see at a given time without being too fiddly and getting into things like Omnifocus’s perspectives (which while great, cost me a lot of time in the past).

The beauty of plain text is its ability to be exactly what you need it to be. As your needs change, your file changes.