Single binary terminal-based TODO manager with git-based sync + markdown notes per task
Dstask is a personal task tracker designed to help you focus. It is similar to taskwarrior but uses git to synchronise instead of a proprietary protocol.
Dstask is mature enough for daily use. I use dstask dozens of times a day, synchronised across 4 computers.
- Powerful context system (automatically applies filter/tags to queries and new tasks)
- Git powered sync/undo/resolve (passwordstore.org style) which means no need to set up a sync server, and sync between devices is easy!
- Task listing won’t break with long task text (unlike taskwarrior, currently)
notecommand — edit a full markdown note for each task. Checklists are useful here.
opencommand — open URLs found in specified task (including notes) in the browser
- zsh/bash completion for speed
- A single statically-linked binary
- Collaboration. This is a personal task tracker. Use another system for projects that involve multiple people. Note that it can still be beneficial to use dstask to track what you are working on in the context of a multi-person project tracked elsewhere.
- A 256-color capable terminal
Show-resolved command to review completed tasks by week. Useful for meetings.
- Copy the executable (from the [releases page]) to somewhere in your path, named
dstaskand mark it executable.
- Enable bash completions by copying
.bash-completion.shinto your home directory and sourcing it from your
.bashrc. There’s also a zsh completion script.
- Set up an alias in your
alias t=dstaskto make task management slightly faster.
- Create or clone a ~/.dstask git repository for the data, if you haven’t already:
mkdir ~/.dstask && git -C ~/.dstask init.
Usage: dstask [id...] <cmd> [task summary/filter] Where [task summary] is text with tags/project/priority specified. Tags are specified with + (or - for filtering) eg: +work. The project is specified with a project:g prefix eg: project:dstask -- no quotes. Priorities run from P3 (low), P2 (default) to P1 (high) and P0 (critical). Text can also be specified for a substring search of description and notes. Cmd and IDs can be swapped, multiple IDs can be specified for batch operations. run "dstask help <cmd>" for command specific help. Add -- to ignore the current context. / can be used when adding tasks to note any words after. Available commands: next : Show most important tasks (priority, creation date -- truncated and default) add : Add a task template : Add a task template log : Log a task (already resolved) start : Change task status to active note : Append to or edit note for a task stop : Change task status to pending done : Resolve a task context : Set global context for task list and new tasks (use "none" to set no context) modify : Set attributes for a task edit : Edit task with text editor undo : Undo last action with git revert sync : Pull then push to git repository, automatic merge commit. open : Open all URLs found in summary/annotations git : Pass a command to git in the repository. Used for push/pull. remove : Remove a task (use to remove tasks added by mistake) show-projects : List projects with completion status show-tags : List tags in use show-active : Show tasks that have been started show-paused : Show tasks that have been started then stopped show-open : Show all non-resolved tasks (without truncation) show-resolved : Show resolved tasks show-templates : Show task templates show-unorganised : Show untagged tasks with no projects (global context) import-tw : Import tasks from taskwarrior via stdin help : Get help on any command or show this message version : Show dstask version information
||Critical||Must be resolved immediately. May appear in all contexts in future.|
||Low||Shown at bottom and faded.|
||Include tag. Filter/context, or when adding task.||
||Exclude tag. Filter/context only.||
||Ignore context. When listing or adding tasks.||
||When adding a task, everything after will be a note.||
||Set project. Filter/context, or when adding task.||
||Exclude project, filter/context only.||
||Base new task on a template.||
|Pending||Tasks that have never been started|
|Active||Tasks that have been started|
|Paused||Tasks that have been started but then stopped|
|Resolved||Tasks that have been done/close/completed|
Dstask is written in such a way that merge conflicts should not happen, unless a task is edited independently on 2 or more machines without synchronising. In practice this happens rarely; however when it does happen dstask will fail to commit and warn you. You’ll then need to go to the underlying
~/.dstask git repository and resolve manually before committing and running
dstask sync. In some rare cases the ID can conflict. This is something dstask will soon be equipped to handle automatically when the
sync command runs.
As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t use the github issues. Currently I use dstask itself to track dstask bugs in my personal dstask repository. I’ve left the issues system enabled to allow people to report bugs or request features. As soon as dstask is used by more than a handful of people, I’ll probably import the dstask issues to github.
- Overwhelmed by tasks? Try focussing by prioritising (set priorities) or narrowing the context. The
show-projectscommands are useful for creating a context.
- Use dstask to track things you might forget, rather than everything. SNR is important. Don’t track tasks for the sake of it.
- Spend regular time reviewing tasks. You’ll probably find some you’ve already resolved, and many you’ve forgotten. The
show-unorganisedcommand is good for this.
- Try to work through tasks from the top of the list. Dstask sorts by priority then creation date — the most important tasks are at the top.
stopto mark what you’re genuinely working on right now; it makes resuming work faster. Paused tasks will be slightly highlighted, so you won’t lose track of them.
show-pausedhelps if they start to pile up.
- Keep a github-style check list in the markdown note of complex or procedural tasks
- Failing to get started working? Start with the smallest task
- Record only required tasks. Track ideas separately, else your task list will grow unboundedly! I keep an
ideas.mdfor various projects for this reason.
The default database location is
~/.dstask/, but can be configured by the environment variable
Alternatives listed must be capable of running in the terminal.
Does dstask encrypt tasks?
Encryption is not a design goal of dstask. If you want to have your remote repository encrypted, you may consider git-remote-gcrypt or git-crypt. Note that dstask has not been tested with these tools, nor can any claims be made about the security of the tools themselves.
Is it possible to modify more than one task at once with a filter?
- Set a context:
- Run a modify command without and ID
- Hit y to confirm to modify all tasks in context
This means it’s natural to review the tasks that would be modified before modifying by listing all tasks in the current context first, instead of potentially operating blindly by matching tags or numbers.
You can also specify multiple task numbers at one time, as with any other command.