Manage your tasks using the command line.

I have been using TaskWarrior for a few few years.

Taskwarrior looks like this:

TaskWarrior Task Management

You can install Taskwarrior on Windows, Mac or Linux.

In Linux Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install task

Adding a task with TaskWarrior

Add a task:

$ task add project:python Write awesome lesson learned due:today

Updating a task

Update a task:

$ task 1 modify due:monday

List of tasks

Get a list of tasks:

$ task list

Completing a task

To complete a task:

$ task 1 done

Completed tasks:

Run this report:

$ task completed

Configuring a color theme in Taskwarrior

Open ~/.taskrc and add this line:

color=on

Then uncomment one of themes listed for example:

include /usr/share/task/solarized-dark-256.theme

After saving and closing the file you can check which colors are used:

$ task color legend

You can override colors back in .taskrc like this example:

color.due=bold green
color.alternate=

Configuring a bash script to clear the screen and list tasks

I saw that often I had to do this:

$ clear
$ task list

I wanted to see the task list dashboard with just one word.

Created a bin directory in my home folder:

$ mkdir ~/bin/

Created a file called work

$ cd ~/bin
$ touch work
$ chmod +x work

Inside the file I just added this:

#!/usr/bin/bash
clear && task list

Viewing Reports in Taskwarrior

Here are the default Taskwarrior reports

  • task active: Show active tasks
  • task completed: Show completed tasks
  • task next: Show tasks ranked by urgency
  • task projects: Show all projects used

Creating Custom Reports in Taskwarrior

See report columns available. More here

Create a report called simple and edit Taskwarrior config located at ~/.taskrc:

dateformat=a D b Y
report.simple.description=Simple list of open tasks by project
report.simple.columns=id,project,description,due,start.age
report.simple.labels=ID,Proj,Desc,Due,Active
report.simple.sort=project+\/,due+
report.simple.filter=status:pending

Then call the report with this command:

$ task simple

Using annotation

Notes can be added to tasks. They are displayed below a task.

Add them like this example:

$ task 6 annotate Review category csv file

Example report:

ID Proj Desc                                   Due            
 1 db   App-Setup Controllers                  Mon 10 May 2021
 2 db   App-Setup Routes                       Mon 10 May 2021
 3 db   App-Setup Frontend                     Mon 10 May 2021
 4 db   App-Setup Load DemoData into test_data Mon 10 May 2021
 5 db   App-Setup Load DemoData Sale           Mon 10 May 2021
 6 db   App-Setup Load DemoData Category       Mon 10 May 2021
          Mon 10 May 2021 Review category
          csv file                 
 7 db   App-Setup Load DemoData Campaign       Mon 10 May 2021

Undo a done task

Go to the completed report:

$ task completed

Find the UUID of the task you want to bring back. This is the first column on that report. Let’s say it’s da4bcc60. Change the status to pending:

$ task da4bcc60 modify status:pending

Update many overdue tasks

Use this:

$ task +OVERDUE mod due:today

Workflow to manage tasks with Taskwarrior

Here is the workflow I use:

  • Clear the screen and view the list of tasks task simple (or work using a bash script)
  • Add tasks to a project with a due date task add project:swe Complete assignment 1 due:today
  • Modify tasks if they are overdue task 1 modify due:tomorrow
  • Start a task with task start <id> such as task start 1
  • Annotate the task if I complete some of it such as task annotate 1 Completed section 1A
  • Complete the task task 1 done
  • Clear and view the list again task simple

Troubleshooting: The expression could not be evaluated

I tried running this:

task add project:idea Some awesome idea due:tomorrow

And the output was:

The expression could not be evaluated

This was an issue on my version:

task --version
2.5.1

The issue was that it would not create projects that start with the letters id.

This was corrected by updating the version. In Linux Fedora the update was:

sudo dnf update task
Downloading Packages:
task-2.5.3-1.fc34.x86_64.rpm

To review other issues that were solved look at Taskwarrior Github repo Changelog file here

Sources: