Managing your tasks at the command line with TaskBook

Using TaskBook

When you first take TaskBook for a spin, it seems almost too simple – and maybe a bit too limited. Once you become familiar with using TaskBook, you'll appreciate that simplicity.

Interacting with TaskBook is not the same as how you interact with any of the similar programs in the GUI world. Adding your tasks and notes requires just one set of options, and displaying your task uses another command. This simple method doesn't make TaskBook any less useful or effective than other task management tools.

Say, for example, I want to create the tasks I need to accomplish to write this article. One of those tasks is to take some screen captures. To do that, I type:

tb --task Take screen captures for TaskBook article

I continue following this pattern (with a different description for each task, of course) until I have a list of everything I need to do.

TaskBook doesn't include a way to add due dates to tasks, so it lends itself to being more of a daily task list. However, you can indicate due dates by adding due: <date> to the description (e.g., due: 04/24/2019).

Viewing a Task List

Now that you have a list of tasks, you'll want to see them. To view your task list, type tb in a terminal window (Figure 4). If you left the default settings in the configuration file, TaskBook displays a running tally of the tasks you've completed, the tasks you still have to do, and the notes on your board at the bottom. I'll talk more about notes later.

Figure 4: A list of tasks in TaskBook.

Keeping this window open for reference saves having to reopen a terminal window and typing the command to run TaskBook each time you want to consult your list.

Adding Priorities

Not all tasks are created equal. Some are more important than others. You can indicate which task you need to tackle first by assigning priorities:

tb --priority @<task-number> <priority>

Priorities run from 1 (lowest) to 3 (highest). For example, say I want to give the fourth task in my list the highest priority; I type:

tb --priority @4 3

Figure 5 shows my prioritized task list. Tasks with the highest priority are red, and are followed by a pair of exclamation points. Tasks one level down are yellow, followed by a single exclamation point.

Figure 5: A prioritized set of tasks in TaskBook.

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