Getting Things Gnome Keeps Linux Users Organized

Justin Pot 16-03-2011

linux task managerDon’t just manage your tasks; deal with them. Getting Things Gnome, a program with an unfortunately stupid name, is a simple yet complete Linux task manager.


MakeUseOf readers know the web can be a distracting place. A good to-do list can help by reminding you of the tasks you need to accomplish. That’s not all you need, however; your task list should show you the things you need to do, but also be flexible enough to store notes about your various tasks. Getting Things Gnome offers this, along with a tagging feature of quick sorting. Organize your life and accomplish what you set out to.

>Midnight Inbox, a task manager for OS X, recently became a free application. That’s great for Mac users; Getting Things Gnome offers similar functionality for Linux.

Managing Your Tasks

Fire up Getting Things Gnome for the first time and you’ll see a simple task list. Items in this list can teach you functionality offered by the program, so read them to really learn what’s possible.

Once you’ve read and deleted those items you can start adding your own tasks. Adding a task is simple:

linux task manager


Editing tasks is similar to editing any document, with a few specific rules. The first line of text is your task’s name; this is what you’ll see in Getting Things Gnome’s main interface later. The rest of the field can be used to store whatever information you like, such as contact information for people involved or a brief summary.

Use the “@” symbol, as seen above, to add tags to a given project. This can help a great deal in arranging your tasks.

That’s not the only organizational structure offered. It’s possible to make a certain task a sub-task. This is great for projects that involve several steps, as you can break these steps down into smaller pieces while keeping them part of a larger project.

Once you add a few tasks, you’ll have a basic to-do list:


linux task scheduler

From the main page you can complete a task, or open any particular task to edit it.

Want to quickly access your tasks from the panel? You can, with a plugin, make your task list into a drop-down menu like this:

linux task scheduler


The plugin is included; click “Edit” followed by “Preferences” to find it.

Use With Remember the Milk

Do you like the interface Getting Things Gnome provides, but you are already using online task manager Remember the Milk? Don’t worry; a plugin offers the ability to sync this program with everyone’s favorite online program. Find it under the preferences menu and a new button will be added to the toolbar. Click it and you’ll have to go through the confirmation process:

linux task manager

Of course, there are other ways to use Remember The Milk on Linux 4 Ways To Use Remember The Milk On Linux Desktop Read More , but Getting Things Gnome is a great addition to that list. Sadly syncing is not instant, and will require you to remember to click the button on the taskbar, but I’m sure this will get better as the program continues to develop.



Ubuntu users, as always, are lucky; they need only click here to install Getting Things Gnome. Note that you’ll need Ubuntu 10.10 for that link to work! Users of other Linux versions, or earlier versions of Ubuntu, should read the installation instructions on the Getting Things Gnome website; everything is explained there.

How do you like Getting Things Gnome? Fill us in with your comments below, and be sure to recommend any other Linux task manager you may prefer!

Related topics: GTD, Organization Software, Planning Tool, Task Management.

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  1. geoguy
    May 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    after I sync my task list in GTG with remember the milk, my task list in GTG is deleted???  why is this happening?  Also, how do I update my tasks in GTG, sync with RTM, without loosing tasks?

    • jhpot
      May 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm

      That's very odd, Geoguy. Has it always done this, or did it just start doing it?

  2. Michael
    March 18, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Why isn't this post tagged under Ubuntu or something?