Linux Productivity

11 Linux To-Do Apps, Timers, and Extensions to Help You Stay on Task

Bertel King 01-01-2018

Minds wander. It’s part of what they do. The more you attempt to carry around in your head, the more you’re liable to forget.


Nonetheless, you have tasks to get done, and you have limited time to do them. Are you also a Linux user? In that case, you may want to check out these Linux to-do apps and extensions to help you stay focused.


GNOME is the default desktop for many popular Linux operating systems GNOME Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Popular Desktops You're interested in Linux, and you've come across "GNOME", an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. GNOME is one of the most popular open source interfaces, but what does that mean? Read More such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian. There’s a decent chance this is the interface you’re using, so let’s start here.

1. GNOME To Do

linux to-do apps timers extensions

GNOME To Do is a place to manage both your to-do lists and post-it notes in Linux. You can arrange tasks by due date, organize notes by color, and access data stored across multiple machines.

Plugins are available that expand what To Do can do. As an official GNOME app, it offers some of the best integration you can expect with the rest of your desktop.


Download: GNOME To Do

2. Getting Things GNOME

linux to-do apps timers extensions

Getting Things GNOME is a task management app based on the Getting Things Done methodology consultant David Allen popularized in a book the same name in 2001. The idea centers around creating primary tasks and breaking them down into individual action items.

While Getting Things GNOME is intended for GNOME, developers have yet to update it to the desktop’s current design. So you may find that it looks more at home on other desktops such as Cinnamon Cinnamon Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Windows-Like Desktops When you see a screenshot, what you think is the "operating system" is more likely to be the "desktop environment" -- and Linux has a bunch of them, including this one called Cinnamon. Read More , MATE MATE Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Enduring Desktops Unlike commercial operating systems, Linux lets you change your desktop environment. One of the most popular is MATE, but how good is it, and should you install it on your Linux PC? Let's find out. Read More , and Xfce Xfce Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Speediest Desktops If you've recently switched to Linux and are finding things a bit slow going, you probably need a lighter desktop environment. One good option is Xfce. Read More .


Download: Getting Things GNOME

3. Pomodoro

linux to-do apps timers extensions

Pomodoro is a GNOME extention that sets a timer at the top of your screen, next to the system indicators. The default behavior is to run for 25 minutes, then give you a five-minute break before setting another timer for 25 minutes. The Pomodoro method is a popular method of lengthening your concentration The Best Pomodoro Timer Apps to Rocket Your Productivity If you often hit a productivity wall after a few hours of work, a Pomodoro timer could help you keep your focus. This selection of timers has an option for every platform. Read More .

Download: Pomodoro



As the oldest and most customizable desktop environment KDE Explained: A Look at Linux's Most Configurable Desktop Interface What does Linux look like? Sometimes, Unity; other times, GNOME. Oftentimes, though, Linux runs KDE. If you're not using the erstwhile K Desktop Environment on your Linux PC, now is the time to change! Read More for free and open source operating systems, KDE Plasma has legions of users. Here are some of the tools made with them in mind.

4. KOrganizer

KOrganizer is part of the Kontact productivity suite. While you can use it to manage your calendar, it’s also a place for your to-do lists and journal entries. Items on the to-do list appear on your calendar and can be converted into events on your agenda.

Download: KOrganizer

5. TodoList

linux to-do apps timers extensions
Image Credit: KDE Store


TodoList is a widget that sits on your desktop. This keeps your tasks visible every time you close your last open window. Such convenience can be great if, like me, you often forget to open the to-do list app you spent so much time setting up.

Download: TodoList

Elementary OS

Elementary OS is a newer Linux operating system aimed at people who currently use Windows or macOS Want to Install Elementary OS? 8 Reasons Why You Should! Linux Elementary OS has developed into a fine computing experience, but is it time to switch from your current operating system? Read More . It provides a more simple, curated experience than more traditional desktop environments. Here are some apps you can find in AppCenter, though you don’t have to use Elementary OS to download them.

6. Agenda

linux to-do apps timers extensions

Agenda is about as simple as a to-do list app can get. Add items to a list and manually rearrange the order. No fiddling with due dates, assigning tags, or managing any other details that can make creating a reminder feel like work in and of itself.

Download: Agenda

7. Tomato

linux to-do apps timers extensions

Tomato is a Linux Pomodoro timer with a lot of charm. Clicking the tomato on your dock will open a window with a countdown timer. When the window isn’t visible, a progress bar overlays the icon in your dock. Of the Pomodoro apps I’ve used on any operating system, this one is dearest to my heart.

Download: Tomato

8. Go For It!

Go For It! is a to-do list and a timer merged together. That means you get the benefit of timing a particular task without having to open up mutliple apps. To-dos are saved in the todo.txt format, so you can import your tasks into another app or read them in a text editor 7 Best Linux Text Editors and Gedit Alternatives Concerned that Gedit has been abandoned by its developer? While we don't know what the future holds, one of these seven Linux text editors should make an adequate replacement. Read More .

Download: Go For It!


Want a to-do list that doesn’t care what desktop you use? Perhaps you need one you can run off a server with no graphical user interface. Maybe you just enjoy being a boss. Whatever the reason, you want to run a to-do list from the Linux command line.

9. Taskwarrior

Running a to-do list from the terminal may seem complicated, but when you’re only working with text, it’s nice to have something simple. Taskwarrior shows your tasks, how long they’ve existed on your list, their priority, and their urgency.

Download: Taskwarrior

10. Todo.txt

I mentioned Go For It! saves tasks in the todo.txt format. Well, todo.txt is also its own command line program you can use to interact with a text file called todo.txt via very simple commands. The @ symbol denotes a location. Using a + assigns a category. Letters such as (A), (B), and (C) indicate priority. You get the idea.

Download: Todo.txt

11. Fin

linux to-do apps timers extensions

Fin is a to-do list app so simple that you can create it yourself. The entire program consists of 38 lines of code. Fin uses text files and folders to manage tasks. The name of a text file represents a task, while the contents contain the metadata. Separate folders contain tasks that you’ve completed and those that remain.

Download: Fin

Which Linux To-Do Apps Work for You?

We all do things in our own ways. Some of us can fire up any to-do list app and get by. Others have a highly specified approach to managing their tasks. Many people prefer to use pencil and paper Why Paper Planners Are Relevant in the Age of Smartphone Calendar Apps Smartphones are great, but maybe planners are one thing they shouldn't have replaced. Read More .

Whichever you do, don’t switch to-do apps so frequently How to Stop Switching To-Do Apps (And Find the One You'll Love Instead) Changing to-do list apps is not good for your productivity. Here's how to find the perfect to-do list application for yourself. Read More that they lose their usefulness. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your workflow, check out these Linux app launchers to help you get stuff done faster.

What approach do you like to take? Do you need an app that’s cross platform? Does it need to be distro or desktop agnostic? Is the command line your preferred way to work? Share your preferences in the comments!

Image Credit: Elnur_/Depositphotos

Related topics: Time Management, To-Do List.

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  1. Anis Ahmad
    June 9, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    You may include Geek-life in terminal category.

    It's a full-featured to-do list manager in command line without compromising anything that a basic To-do list manager should offer.
 It organises tasks under project with full Mouse and Keyboard support. Free and open source.

  2. Bugzy
    January 17, 2018 at 6:41 am

    Zanshin, which has plasma and KDE pim integration is the way to go for me