Todo.txt Indicator running on Ubuntu
Todo.txt Indicator running on Ubuntu

If you manage your to-to list with a plaintext Todo.txt file this indicator applet may help you keep on top of your tasks.

Sure, there are plenty of web-based clients, sticky note widgets, and feature-packed desktop task managers offering to help us cut through the crud and get stuff done.

But sometimes nothing beats the simplicity of the humble todo.txt file.

How It Works

The Todo indicator applet makes it easy to check off items on your to-do list without needing to open a full-bodied text editor or dive into the command line.

Click on the indicator icon to see your list of to-do-ables. When you finish a task take a cookie from the jar click on it to mark it as “done.”

The ‘Edit todo.txt’ option will launch the currently displayed list in the default text editor (e.g., Gedit). The other menu items are self explanatory.

The Basics of a Todo.txt File

Todo.txt is a very basic plaintext file. You list your to-do items using some simple rules:

  • (A), (B), (C), etc denote priority
  • @Phrase denotes context/device
  • +Phrase denotes a project/task/person

Here’s an example todo.txt from my computer:

(A) Feed the cats :)
(B) Work on mockups for +sam
(A) Write about todo indicator
Work on @theproject
(B) Queue socials for friday

Install & Use Todo Indicator on Ubuntu

It’s effortlessly easy to run too.

First download the following Zip file from Github:

Download Todo Indicator from Github

Next, extract the zip to your home folder (or another preferred location).

Finally, run the indicator from the Terminal, passing your todo.txt file’s location to it.

./ ~/todo.txt

If you only want specific projects or context items to appear in the list use the -f argument.

So, if I only wanted to see my +sam items from my todo.txt above, I’d run:

./ -f +sam ~/todo.txt

Simple enough, right?

To install the indicator properly you can run the following from within the extracted folder:

$ python install

You won’t get a pretty little launcher, and you’ll still need to start the indicator by manually passing it your todo.txt — but both can be overcome with a custom .desktop file if the effort of creating one doesn’t bother you.

Sadly the indicator fails to load the tray icon, whether installed or not.

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