Apr 242015

Newton, Galileo, Dante and Shakespeare never used todo lists or notes apps to accomplish great feats.

Stalin and Hitler killed tens of millions without a single todo or notes app.

But lesser mortals, these days, it seems can’t function or get through the day without a collection of notes apps or todo lists on their PCs and mobile devices.

And if these apps are not cloud-powered to enable synchronization of the notes and todo lists across devices, the collective wrath of users descends on the hapless developer.

Such are the unusual times we live in!

Although I’m as guilty as the next Joe in hoarding notes and todo apps on my PC, tablet and smartphone, I’ve never been an intensive user of any of these apps. On the Mac, I use the free versions of Evernote and Eisenpower and on my Linux desktop my preferences are Task Coach and CherryTree.

If you ask me, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish by jotting down tasks on an index card. Nabokov famously wrote his masterpieces on index cards.

But lately I’ve been drawn to a todo utility called Taskwarrior.

A big plus of Taskwarrior for Linux administrators who live and breathe on the command line is that it’s convenient since you don’t have to go outside the command line and open an application to get to your todo list.

You see, Taskwarrior works essentially on the command line.

Installing Taskwarrior

Taskwarrior is available for both CentOS 7 (RedHat and Fedora) and Ubuntu (LinuxMint 17) distributions.

The latest version of task for Ubuntu is 2.2.0-3 and for CentOS it’s 2.4.2.

If you’re running Fedora, CentOS or RedHat, use yum to install task.

$ sudo yum install task

If you’re on an Ubuntu system, go with the below command.

$ sudo apt-get install task

How Task Works

The beauty of task lies in its simplicity.

Adding, seeing and deleting tasks on the command line are a breeze.

To add a task, use the task add [description] command.

To see your tasks, just type task on the command line and hit enter.

When you’ve completed a task and want to remove it from your list, go with task [id no] done.

If you want to delete a task, task [id number] delete should do the trick.

Simple as pie, isn’t it?

Hey, you can even prioritize certain tasks as I’ll show in a moment.

Here’s an example of how I created a todo list with task:

$ task add Read Steve Jobs Book
Created task 1.
thomas@workpc ~/Desktop $ task add priority:H Read Brian Ward Linux Book
Created task 2.
thomas@workpc ~/Desktop $ task add Write on task and touch
Created task 3.

I’m not easily impressed by software but I’ll admit to being bowled over by the simplicity of this app.

Check Your Task List

thomas@workpc ~/Desktop $ task
ID Pri Age Urg  Description               
 2 H   17s    6 Read Brian Ward Linux Book
 1     34s    0 Read Steve Jobs Book      
 3     4s     0 Write on task and touch
3 tasks

Task can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

For those wanting the bells and whistles, you can run several filters and create a variety of reports with task.

I encourage you to check out the man pages of task as well as the web page of task developer Taskwarrior.

I unhesitatingly recommend Taskwarrior to all you command line warriors!

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