We're working hard behind the scenes to release the next major version in beta. It'll add a bunch of things that we feel will take FoldingText to the next level. Follow us on twitter (@foldingtext | https://twitter.com/foldingtext) if you're interested to hear about FoldingText development.
P.S. For the Vim enthusiasts, I'm really pushing to get vim support in the upcoming FoldingText beta ;)
But FT isn't really being actively developed anymore, AFAICT. The developer switched from working on TaskPaper to FoldingText and then switched back to TaskPaper. Before TaskPaper he was working on WriteRoom, which was a minimal Markdown app, and sometimes it comes back and sometimes it doesn't. TaskPaper is pretty neat, but when push comes to shove it could be implemented as an extension/package for nearly any competent text editor. (And in fact has for several, including Atom. Folding Text also existed as a plugin for Atom at one point.)
Also, while FT is in beta it will have a significant discount.
This is something we're trying to address with the upcoming beta. You can follow us on twitter: @foldingtext, to get news about the beta when we start rolling it out.
I'd be interested to know where folding editors first originated?
We have org-mode now of course.
My first encounter was 28 years ago now - December 1989 - an in-house editor called Teddy written by "Burkhard" that we had running on Vax - for Parasolid development in Cambridge, UK - think it dated from 1987 or earlier.
I think the first "popular" ones were made by Dave Winer (http://davewiner.com). Here's a list of some (http://outliners.scripting.com)
So folds in Emacs date from at least 1992.
* It could occasionally create corrupt folded files though, which was annoying if he checked them in to the SCM.
I remember using MORE on the Mac in the late '80s.
I'm a heavy org-mode user but one of the disappointing aspects of org-mode is that non-emacs users have a tough time contributing to documents; especially if I use advanced features like org-babel, spreadsheets, and the like.
I hold out hope that one day there will be a standalone org-mode editor for non-emacs users.
Folding Text seems to have many of the same features... I might have to check it out. :)
I would be surprised if FT has more than, say, 10% of the features of org-mode. If you want to restrict yourself to the basics (e.g., the 10% that FT does) then org-mode is quite simple to use.
Of course, org-mode is in Emacs, and that will turn some people away. For others, the flexibility and power of Emacs may be the main draw. I myself am someone who migrated to Emacs from Vim, primarily because of org-mode, and I now use the Evil vim emulator, which makes things quite good.
If I use org-mode files for anything more than markup such as org-babel, ditaa, properties, spreadsheets, scheduling, etc it requires all of the org-mode baggage that only exists in emacs but is what makes org-mode more useful than markdown.
But even some of the more advanced org-mode features have to be manually managed if you're trying to contribute to an org-document project and are using something other than Emacs.
Less features but an excellent markdown editor for Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu
In a world where there seems to be a new to do list coming out every week, I've never been able to simply replace a plaintext file. Organized gives a handy little sidebar with a todo list (simple do [TODO] blah blah) and also an agenda.
For relatively light / non-coders like me, who don't spend their day in emacs or vim, this looks to be the perfect solution.
Would be happy to answer any questions you have, and FoldingText comes with a trial so give it a shot to see how different it is.
 app tree — https://pastebin.com/raw/URDzmRLJ
The idea of FoldingText evolved from:
1. Out of college I got to work on the Jazz ZUI (Zooming User Interface) toolkit and then build it's successor Piccolo. http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/piccolo/. For me this was a super cool project to work on. I liked to take notes and tried/build various ZUI notes apps. Great fun but I always ended up using plain text files on my desktop instead of fancy ZUI app.
2. I gave up on ZUI for notes and decided instead to build Hog Bay Notebook, a Mac app for notes. Similar concept to Evernote (but a few years before I think). Database of text files with a full text index for searching. After a few years I was making my living selling this app, but I would still tend to go back to keeping my notes on desktop in TextEdit.
3. Around this time https://ulyssesapp.com added "full screen mode" to their app. Was a popular feature, but Ulysses was a big app with lots of other features that I didn't really want. So I spent a week making WriteRoom 1.0. WriteRoom was a very basic text editor with one feature... that it could zoom into a nice fullscreen mode. It originated the term "Distraction free writing"... so yeah for that! :) This quickly sold better then my notebook program which had at that point I'd put years of work into.
4. This lead me to the conclusion that there's a market and need for simple text based alternatives to "major" apps. Many people saw WriteRoom as a MS Word alternative, even though it was much, much, simpler.
5. At the time 2005/2006 "Getting Things Done" apps were becoming popular, but they were pretty complicated. Lots of chrome surrounding a simple list of tasks. I created TaskPaper as a simple text alternative to OmniFocus. The original versions were just a little syntax highliting built into TextEdit. But over time I wanted a better solution for handling large complex todo lists and so started building in outlining and filtering into the app. After a few years the end result is that TaskPaper is an outliner data model presented/edited through a plain text editor.
6. At this point we get to FoldingText. I didn't want to keep bolting features onto TaskPaper... I wanted it to stay "Plain text todo lists". But TaskPaper's underlying outliner model with a text UI seemed like it would be good a many other things. FoldingText was my attempt to generalize the outline mode/plain text UI into a platform that other's could extend. Along the way I decided to use Markdown as the plain text format that would define the underlying outline structure. I regret that decision. It added a lot of complexity (keeping markdown parsed into runtime outliner model) and made most people think of FoldingText mostly as a markdown editor. FoldingText become a good markdown editor, but the Markdown focus clouded the bigger goal for me.
7. By this time there were 4 of us working at Hog Bay Software. Mutahhir and I worked mostly on FoldingText. And then Mac apps stopped selling so fast and we didn't' have money to continue. Hog Bay Software had to shrink down to only me again. And I didn't have resources to keep working on all the apps. So I've refocused to work on TaskPaper and WriteRoom again. While Muthahhir has taken over the FoldingText project and is working on a big release soon.
Along the way I've looked to lots of apps for inspiration.
Early outliners in particular. But while I like them, they are problematic on how constraining they are when editing... they are field based so you only edit one line at a time. That's why I prefer using the outliner data model, but presented as unconstrained plain text editor.
Besides the history described above FoldingText was most inspired by the Cannon Cat. Maybe not so much in every feature and implementation, but in the large idea of a text based user interface.
The timers can be started by using the ‘schedule’ mode. Just add ‘.schedule’ to the end of a heading and then start adding time lines underneath. The video is getting dated now, time to re-record :)
The apps you've listed all do "folding". But I don't think they can hoist/focusing a particular section. Or filter the view. Or have modes such as schedule mode. Also general the look/feel is quite different between the apps.