January 18th, 2021

Automating Things 3 with Taskpaper Templates

While Things3 has a solid URL scheme I've talked about a few times, it's a huge pain in the ass to use when you need to adjust templates or deal with automation on iPadOS and iOS. The need to detect which device you're on sucks and Cultured Code needs to come up with some fix for this, until then Drafts and specifically the Things Parser helps clean this up so much.

Things Parser uses TJSContainer to take Taskpaper formatted files and turn them into projects and tasks in Things3. Working with Taskpaper files is so much easier than Things3 URL schemes, because it's far easier to read Taskpaper format than a URL scheme.

Take a look at the Taskpaper formatted project to make sure we don't forget anything when we go skiing.

Ski: @when(today)
	- Eden Mask
	- Lorelei Mask
	- Arwen Mask
	- Curtis Mask
	- Cynthia Mask
	- Ski helmets
	- skis
	- ski boots
	- poles
	- gloves bag
	- coat bin
	- lunch
	- water bottles

That same list looks like this in a Things3 URL scheme:

things:///add-project?title=ski&when=today&to-dos=eden%20mask%0Alorelei%20mask%0Aarwen%20mask%0Acurtis%20mask%0Acynthia%20mask%0Aski%20helmets%0Askis%0Aski%20boots%0Apoles%0Agloves%20bag%0Acoat%20bin%0Awater%20bottles

Can you even tell which task I intentionally left out? Could you add a task easily in the middle of that URL? How would you reproduce the list easily using the Things3 URL Scheme builder?

The answer to all those questions amounts to, it's super hard to do and you'll miss more things and forget an existing task while you try to add another one.

So watch today's video to see me walk through using the excellent Things3 Parser with Taskpaper formatted notes in Drafts so that you can have a task template you can actually read and adjust without going cross-eyed.