Last May I wrote an article on my ideal todo list. I implemented it in offline-enabled format, but never got around to writing the server-side code and it didn’t get used. I’ve been using a paper-based day book effectively all year, but the book is filled up.
Today, starting a new year, I needed something quick to manage my todos. I’m on a bad internet connection, and don’t want a web-based app; even offline enabled apps are quirky. I decided to write something quick and dirty using the command line. Half an hour later, this is what I have:
- All my todos are stored in text files in one directory.
- Each textfile contains the things I want to accomplish in one day, named after that day in 2010-01-31 format so they show up in sorted order.
- I edit the files in my favourite text editor and put a “*” beside ones I’ve completed.
- I wrote some scripts to easily open “relative” names such as TODAY, YESTERDAY, TOMORROW, and TWODAYS side by side.
- I named each script starting with a 1 so that they show up at the beginning of the listing. This is useful in gui file managers as I can double click those scripts to open them.
- I don’t actually use gui file managers much, but I put a link to this one on my desktop with a fancy icon so I don’t forget my tasks.
- When I opened the directory in nautilus, I discovered that I can zoom in on the files, and actually read their contents without opening them. I switched it to compact view so I can fit more TODOs in one screen.
- I’ll probably have one extra text file for “things that need to be done eventually.”
I haven’t really tested it, but I intend to use it for the next week and revise it as necessary. I may have to whip up a web.py server to give a simple interface to it from my phone, or maybe ConnectBot will suffice. It’s not important at the moment, I don’t take the phone anywhere due to a complete lack of coverage.
If it seems to be working as well as the daybook did last year, I’ll keep it up. If I tend to forget to use it, like other electronic solutions I’ve tried, I’ll get a new daybook.
What little code there is, I’ve posted to github.