There is a lot of talk about getting things done at the command line. How many articles are there about using obscure flags with ls, nifty regular expressions with Sed and Awk, and how to parse out lots of text with Perl? That isn't what this is about.

This is about Getting to Done[1], making sure that the stuff we have to do actually gets tracked and done using tools that don't require a graphical desktop, a web browser, or an internet connection. To do this, we'll look at four ways of tracking your to-do list: plaintext files, Todo.txt, TaskWarrior, and Org-mode.

Plain (and simple) text

The most straightforward way to manage your to-do list is using a plaintext file in your editor of choice. Just open an empty file and add tasks, one per line. When you are done, delete the line. Simple, effective, and it doesn't matter what you use to do it. There are a couple of drawbacks to this method, though. Once you delete a line and save the file, it is gone forever. That can be a problem if you have to report on what you have done this week or last week. And while using a simple file is flexible, it can also get cluttered really easily.

Todo.txt: Plaintext leveled up

That leads us to the Todo.txt[2] file format and application. Installation is simple—download[3] the latest release from GitHub and run sudo make install from the unpacked archive.

Todo.txt makes it very easy to add tasks, list tasks, and mark them as done: add "Some Task" add "Some Task" to my todo list

Read more from our friends at