James Williams

Taming your workflow with Todo.txt

Tags: General

Before the last week, my most recent task management system was a hodge-podge of Google Calendar events, notes written in a notebook, and QuickNote notes. Date sensitive things that were in QuickNote often were late as well as tasks when a good amount of details had those details overlooked when in Google Calendar.

About a week ago, I happened upon a task management system called Todo.txt. Having been familiar with its creator Gina Tripani, I had heard of the system but had never tried it. It seemed a little too simple to be able to work. Deep into a several month long "vi is my IDE" renaissance, I decided to give it a try.

Todo.txt uses a minialist command-line interface to manage your tasks. I can have my tasklist anywhere I am but most importantly I can reprioritize things, and mark them as done(something that my franken-system couldn't do well).

Need to get a list of tasks? Type,

todo.sh ls

Need to create a task? Just type

todo.sh a "Task Description"

Need to mark a task as done, type

todo.sh do [task number]

This is only scratching the surface of its feature set. You can also categorize tasks into project (+ProjectName), add contexts(@whatever), or assign priorities with the pri command. Added features come from its add-ons. The file format is simple enough that I was able to make an add-on in a couple hours. If your programming language can do text manipulation and can be called from bash, you can use it for a add-on.

Since my switch, I've been able to better stay on task and have increased my productivity. I love it Todo.txt and can't see myself using anything else.