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 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
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
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, MATE, and Xfce.
Download: Getting Things GNOME
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.
As the oldest and most customizable desktop environment for free and open source operating systems, KDE Plasma has legions of users. Here are some of the tools made with them in mind.
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.
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.
Elementary OS is a newer Linux operating system aimed at people who currently use Windows or macOS. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whichever you do, don’t switch to-do apps so frequently 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!
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