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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

By Kurt Edelbrock on October 23, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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Never forget an important task again with these great to-do list managers for Linux.

Tasque

Tasque (pronounced "task") is a to-do manager built with C# and Mono, created as part of Novell's Hackweek v2. The application interface is really simple; in fact, you have to click on the Tasque icon in the system tray to find most of the options. Adding a new task is a breeze -- just type in the name for your to-do in the text box on the top of the interface and click Add. Tasque shows many categories natively, but you can't update or create new categories. (The software is still in beta, and more category functionality is expected in a future release.) You can set due dates and priority ratings (a number between for 1, 2, and 3, or "-" for no rating) by clicking on the corresponding columns in the interface. Notifications for upcoming due dates aren't supported yet, but you can set notes to store more information within the task itself.

The application's real strength comes from support for multiple back ends, such as SQLite, Remember the Milk (RTM), and the Evolution Data Server (part of the Evolution package installed with most distributions). SQLite and Evolution Data Server are both local options, so the to-do lists will reside on your hard drive. This is good if you don't always have an Internet connection when you need your lists or if you don't want to use an online service to manage them.

The SQLite back end provides quick, reliable storage for Tasque, but you should opt to use the Evolution Data Server if you want to use Tasque to sync with the "tasks" feature in Evolution. I prefer to use Remember the Milk as the back end for Tasque so I can view all of my tasks online. This is especially helpful if you have more than one operating system or machine and want to keep everything in sync across different environments. Also, being able to check your to-do lists online via the RTM Web site is helpful when using either an Internet-capable phone or a workplace computer that doesn't allow software installation.

Tasque is not yet included in most package repositories, so you might have to compile it from source. Directions for that process are included on the project Web site. If you're running Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy), you can get Tasque through apt-get by adding the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tasque-packagers/ubuntu hardy main

Then run the following to install Tasque and its dependencies:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gnome-sharp2 libmono2.0-cil libevolution3.0-cil tasque

You should then be able to open Tasque from the menus in your desktop environment or with the tasque command. If you have GNOME Do (the Quicksilver-like application launcher), you should check out the Tasque plugin; it's the easiest way out there to add a new item to Tasque with only a few keystrokes.

Gto-do

Gto-do is a graphical to-do list manager with many features for dealing with tasks. The interface is not as simple as Tasque's, but Gto-do supports customizable categories to sort tasks. That's helpful when you are working with multiple projects that require more labels than the default set. The application also provides a notification system that reminds you about specified tasks 15 minutes before they are due; all you have to do is enable notifications in the dialog when you create a task. While Gto-do only has a local back end (and therefore won't be able to post tasks to Remember the Milk), you can import and export lists in HTML or the .tasks format, and move them between environments with email or a portable hard drive.

Tasks are a little easier to sort and find in Gto-do than in Tasque because of the customizable interface. You can easily add and remove columns of information, such as the task date and the priority column. Completed events show up as well, and they can be purged automatically after a specified number of days. The application comes with a system tray icon, and when you hover your mouse over it the icon displays a tooltip with all of the items on the current list.

Gto-do is found in the repositories of most distributions. Once it's installed, you can open Gto-do from the menu in GNOME (or KDE or Xfce), or with the gto-do command.

iKog

iKog is different from Tasque and Gto-do because it doesn't have a graphical interface, and it's loosely designed to be used with the Getting Things Done (GTD) method of time management. You can create a task with priorities and due dates and assign contexts that are similar to categories in other list applications. It can be hard to type in the same information every time you create a task, so iKog allows you to create abbreviations to act as a shorthand for the context name. You can further group tasks by assigning them to projects. The application supports notes, which can be encrypted with a password to add privacy if the list is being used by other people.

The program consists of a single Python file, and doesn't require much in the way of installation. Download and unpack the file, then run it with the Python interpreter from the command line:

wget http://www.henspace.co.uk/ikog/app/ikog.zip unzip ikog.zip chmod 700 ikog.zip python ikog.py

iKog can be difficult to use at first, so you might want to look at the reference manual by invoking the HELP command. Or, try the documentation at the project Web site or the excellent iKog tutorial written by Dmitri Popov.

Finale

With all of these options, you're probably wondering which application is right for your lists. Tasque is really good if you want to sync your data with Remember the Milk online, but the current release lacks the maturity found in Gto-do. iKog is a really powerful task management system, especially if you are familiar with GTD, but it can be hard to get used to because of all of the different commands. If you aren't bothered by text-only applications, you should definitely check it out.

Whichever solution you choose, any one of these programs will be able to store your tasks and help keep you productive and on track.

Kurt Edelbrock is a technology journalist, blogger, and university student. He writes for a variety of open source publications, and serves as a technical consultant for a large public university.

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on Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 209.20.68.190] on October 23, 2008 07:49 PM
Let's not forget the very simple yet powerful todo.txt! Just a simple text file with a line for each entry. You decide how you want the information organized.

http://todotxt.com/whytxt.php

todo.sh and other utilities make things even more mangeable.

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.70.97.156] on October 23, 2008 08:46 PM
What about Osmo? It's really good - nice GUI, plenty of features. Give it a try.

http://clay.ll.pl/osmo/

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.117.111.61] on October 23, 2008 09:03 PM
The link for Gto-do is broken, and I've been unable to guess the correct URL. Removing the dash leads to a different, command-line todo app.

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Basket

Posted by: Rick Stanley on October 23, 2008 09:15 PM
You can also setup a To-Do list in Baskets (http://basket.kde.org/) If you setup Baskets for a specific project or client, it makes sense to keep the To-Do list along with other notes about the project.

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 205.159.86.10] on October 23, 2008 09:15 PM
If you need to create more complex To-Do list with sub-tasks you can try TaskCoach. TaskCoach is under active development and have some very advance features.
http://www.taskcoach.org/

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.97.108.197] on October 23, 2008 09:29 PM
how about mantis? it is bug-tracking tool, but can easily be used as a todo list manager.

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.177.102.168] on October 23, 2008 10:06 PM
There's also the "Developer Todo List" if you favour the command-line. Despite its name, it's great for all kinds of tasks in a flat or hierarchical format.

http://swapoff.org/DevTodo

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devtodo

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.113.238.142] on October 23, 2008 10:06 PM
http://swapoff.org/DevTodo
Great, simple, console based

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.237.196.174] on October 23, 2008 10:32 PM
Don't forget about orgmode for emacs. Org-mode is a mode for keeping notes, maintaining ToDo lists, and doing project planning with a fast and effective plain-text system. Org-mode file can be exported as a structured ASCII file, HTML, and LaTeX.

http://orgmode.org/
http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/

Fast, Simple & Elegant

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Re: Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.174.103.141] on October 23, 2008 11:24 PM
I'm not sure if these are comparable, but would Evolution or Thunderbird+Lightning task managers be similar as well? Perhaps the functionality differs, but the basic management is there.

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 134.2.222.136] on October 23, 2008 11:42 PM
Miquel The Evil DE ICASA is poising our freedom with MONO. Do not USE Tasque, it's a trap.

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Re: Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.18.240.100] on October 24, 2008 03:14 AM
While I personally do not like Mono or C# myself, they are significant advancements in the FOSS. They show that FOSSware can effectively compete with and support closed proprietary code on an equal level.

Also, I'd suggest you don't insult de Icaza. Saying something online is completely different from saying to someone's face. Try walking up to him and saying that. It's not nice and hurts people's feelings. Developers are easily hurt when people insult their code and hard work (I would know...)

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Re(1): Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on October 24, 2008 09:32 AM
Of course I agree with your request to 134.2.222.136 to refrain from such crude insults to Icaza.

But I can't agree with your comment that "Mono or C# ... they are significant advancements in the FOSS. They show that FOSSware can effectively compete with and support closed proprietary code on an equal level." The FOSS implementations of Mono/C# will always be crippled compared with the Microsoft implementations because they will always be playing catch-up. Microsoft can extend the .net framework anytime it likes, that's why it developed it.

Telling the world - wrongly - that .net/C# are supported on Linux just gives an argument to the Microsoft fanboys, in organizations that try to avoid lock-in, to use them. Then when somebody tries to actually port the .net/C# to Linux, surprise! it won't work because it's coded to version N+2 of .net whereas Linux only supports version N, and even that with some limitations.

And we have another big company locked in to Microsoft.

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 130.104.237.162] on October 24, 2008 12:07 PM
Gto-do is old (latest pre-release was on Sep, 1st, 2006) , is there any active development yet ?

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 96.227.45.136] on October 24, 2008 05:48 PM
Hmm... absence of Qt/KDE programs... what about KOrganizer or Basket, just to name two?

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Three to-do list managers for GNU/Linux

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.248.171.113] on October 25, 2008 04:44 PM
you forgot Tasks http://www.pimlico-project.org/tasks.html
which has natural language recognition, among other things (the screenshot is outdated)

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