Taskbook is a CLI organiser

Taskbook is a CLI organiser

If you’re looking to stay productive at the command line you’ll want to check out Taskbook.

Taskbook is a terrifically well made terminal app that lets you create todo lists, jot down notes, and organise your tasks using boards.

Hacker News described it as “Like Trello but for the Terminal”, a description that isn’t entirely accurate.

Taskbook is more akin to a plain text to-do list tool than it is a Trello analog for the terminal.

For instance, it lacks the spatial flow of Trello, i.e. being able to see all of your columns side by side, and there’s no team collaboration features, tagging, or other advanced features.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. On the contrary!

Using Taskbook you can create, edit, search for and manage your everyday tasks, notes, and boards tasks using multiple boards.

The app is also incredibly easy to use thanks to memorable set of commands (-t for new task, -c for checking an item, -l for list, etc).

By default Taskbook shows tasks and notes in a board view.

The alternative “timeline” view switches to a date-based grouping, listing your tasks based on when you added/created them.

You can quickly list items based on their status, priority or other attributes, e.g.,tb -l incomplete shows you all incomplete/pending/unchecked items from all of your boards, while tb -l my board starred will only list starred items from the ‘my board’ board.

There’s little else to say; Taskbook works exactly as designed, and extremely well — even for a relative terminal-shy nerd like me.

  • Quickly add tasks & notes to boards
  • Move tasks between boards
  • Choice of board and timeline views
  • Set task priority/star
  • Search & filter tasks, notes and boards
  • Archive, delete and restore tasks, notes and boards
  • Easy to learn syntax

The app is configurable through the ~/.taskbook.json file in your homer folder, with data stored in a JSON file at ~/.taskbook/storage (though you can choose you own storage location).


If you’re regularly at the command line then something like Taskbook is a must (though admittedly  you’re spoilt for choice as there are a lot of todo list terminal apps out there).

Install Taskbook on Linux

Taskbook is relatively easy to install using NPM (once you’ve got that installed and set-up) though there’s no denying that a Snap or a Flatpak package would make it easier still.

Oh, If you’re on Arch btw, of course it’s already in AUR.

To install Taskbook on Ubuntu (and most other Linux distributions) just run the following command:

sudo npm install --global taskbook

Sudo shouldn’t be necessary if you set your environment up correctly, but I haven’t.

Then, to run the app with the help file shown, enter:

tb --help

Checkout the flight manual

The app also has a superb ‘flight manual’ that walks through each and every command in turn, from how to create a board and move items between boards to how to star items, check them off, or restore ones you delete.

Reading the guide saved me a lot experimentation so I do recommend that you check it out.

P.S: If you’re looking for something similar but with a GUI, I highly recommended checking out Notion. It doesn’t have a Linux client (yet, please go bug them about it) but it does have a web interface and clients for Windows and macOS.

Thanks Yan, John & Paul

Notepad image credit: Moz.com