Using taskwarrior to manage my todos

4 min read

I have been on a journey recently to discover more terminal tools. Having them close by while working in things like neovim reduces the number of times that I need to bounce around in the browser or the number of applications that I need to install on my machine. Currently I just use alacritty, firefox, and thunderbird and that’s pretty much it. Today I added taskwarrior to the growing list of applications I can use from within the terminal.

What is taskwarrior?

Taskwarrior is a command line application (cli) that enables the tracking of tasks. Once installed, I can just use task ls to get an overview of things that I have to do. It comes with a specific syntax to enable the assignment of priority, due dates, projects etc and can be as simple or complex as you would like it to be. To install it, simply follow the instructions listed in the download page for your distribution. Since I am using a debian based distribution, I could install with sudo apt-get install taskwarrior.

Basic usage

As it just the first day, I just have some primary commands committed to memory:

For a more in depth list of the syntax, I found this list helpful. I have started to use priority: and due: from within the description to automatically assign the due date and priority.

Integrating bugwarrior

Bugwarrior enabled me to integrate github issues directly into taskwarrior. The setup was quite straightforward, and surprisingly didn’t involve any configuration of my taskwarrior setup on the bugwarrior side. Bugwarrior, like taskwarrior, can be installed using apt-get, or you can use pip.

Configuring bugwarrior

Bugwarrior requires a configuration file, it will not work without one. I chose to write my configuration at .config/bugwarrior/bugwarriorrc however there are other possible path options as outlined in the documentation. One thing that wasn’t super clear from the readthedocs was that there should not be a file extension on the bugwarriorrc file (so no .toml for example). Mine was the bare minimum for GitHub, and looked like this:

targets = my_github

service = github
github.username = <your-username-here>
github.login = <your-username-here>
github.token = <your-github-token-here>
github.description_template = 

I chose to configure a fine-grain access token with read-only access to public repos. If you plan on using bugwarrior for private repositories, I would suggest looking at the pages in the documentation and not leaving the token in the configuration file directory. I found some difficulties getting the .toml format for the configuration file working, and so just opted to use the .ini format instead.

The GitHub issues will automatically be assigned to a project with the name of the GitHub repository, so I didn’t find it necessary to also include that information in the task description (or even the fact that it was from github). Also, I didn’t think it was necessary to include the PR or issue number assigned by GitHub, however down the road I may include that to make using closing keywords easier.

Future integrations

I would like to try out taskwarrior-tui, however it has not yet been tested with version 3 of taskwarrior. I would also like to configure an android app to sync to taskwarrior through the taskserver.