How to Manage Your Tasks in the Terminal with Taskbook

Tasks In Terminal With Tb Featured

If you’d prefer to manage all your tasks directly from the terminal, Taskbook allows you to do that using simple commands. There’s no annoying GUI, nor waiting for pages to load. Everything is instant and only a keypress away. Let’s see how you can use it to organize all your tasks in the Terminal.

Install Taskbook

The suggested ways to install Taskbook are through Yarn, NPM, or Snapcraft. The commands for this, as provided by the app’s documentation, are:

sudo yarn global add taskbook
sudo npm install --global taskbook
sudo snap install taskbook
Snap Install taskbook

Since we are using it on Ubuntu 20.04, we’ll go the snap route. For easier use, it’s also suggested you use an alias for taskbook so you won’t have to type its full name to manage your tasks. You can add the alias “tb” to taskbook with:

sudo snap alias taskbook tb
Setup taskbook Alias

Adding Tasks And Notes

With Taskbook installed, to create a task, type:

tb -t Text you want for your task.

Press Enter and your task will be added to Taskbook’s list. To add some more tasks, repeat this command like in the below example.

tb -t Make Tech Easier
tb -t Download Updates
tb -t Fix CSS
Taskbook Adding Tasks

Check out your tasks: type tb and press Enter.

Taskbook Check Task List

To add a note about something that won’t be an actionable task, use the -n switch instead of -t:

tb -n Text of your note
Taskbook Add Note

If you check out your task list after adding some tasks and notes, you’ll see notes start with a circle icon, whereas tasks have a classic checkbox on their left.

Taskbook Check Tasks And Notes

Use the Boards, Luke!

For better task organization, you can use different boards. Each board can contain a different set of tasks and notes, but if you wish, a task or note can exist in more than one board at the same time. To add a task to a board, use:

tb -t @board_name Text of task

In the following example, we’re adding two tasks, one to the “mte” board and one to the “pc” and “tablet” boards.

tb -t @mte Write article
tb -t @pc @tablet Change passwords
Taskbook Add Boards

Notice that we didn’t have to create the board manually. Taskbook will have created the boards automatically and assigned the tasks to them, with one task existing on two boards.

Taskbook Check Boards

Acting on Tasks

To mark the tasks you’ve started working on as “active,” use the -b switch. When looking at how to select tasks, notice the number preceding each task. Select the task by specifying the number beside it.

tb -b 2 7
Taskbook Start Tasks

You’ll see your active tasks marked with three dots (“…”).

Taskbook Check Tasks In Progress

To mark a task as “completed,” use the switch -c and the task’s number:

tb -c 7
Taskbook Mark Tasks Complete

You can now see that the completed task is greyed out and has a checkmark beside it.

Taskbook Check Completed

If a task you’ve marked as active takes too long to complete, you can pause or undo it using the same command you used to start it.

tb -b Task_Number
Taskbook Pause Tasks

To mark your most important ones with a star, using the -s switch:

tb -s 1 3
Taskbook add Stars

For even more control, you can use actual priorities. The syntax is somewhat more complex, though.

tb -p @Task_Number Priority_Number

For example, to set our 2nd task’s priority to “normal,” our 1st task’s priority to “high,” and the 3rd task’s priority to “medium,” we used:

tb -p @2 1
tb -p @1 3
tb -p @3 2
Taskbook Set Priorities

You can see in the following screenshot how the commands above marked our “Make Tech Easier” task as the most important, “Fix CSS” as medium priority, and left “Download Updates” unchanged at normal priority.

Taskbook Check Priorities

If you also noticed in our screenshot, we added a new task to our “tablet” board. But we also used p:2 before entering its actual text. The command in non-screenshot form was:

tb -t @tablet p:2 Flash new ROM

With the above, we’ve added the task “Flash new ROM” to the “tablet” board with medium priority. You can prioritize each task as you create it so you won’t have to edit it afterward.

But what if you added a task to the wrong board? Move it to the correct one with:

tb -m @Task_Number board
Taskbook Move Tasks

As you can see in our screenshot, you can move a task to more than one board at once.

After a while, though, your boards will be filled with tasks, and the completed ones will keep appearing in grey. To clean up your lists, use:

tb --clear
Taskbook Clear Completed

The above command “deletes” all completed tasks. To manually delete a task or note, use the switch -d and its number:

tb -d 4
Taskbook Delete Task

We used quotation marks with “delete” because the tasks and notes aren’t actually deleted. Instead, they’re archived. To access your archive of past tasks, use:

tb -a
Taskbook Check Archived

To restore any tasks from the archive to your boards, use -r followed by their number:


Note that you can restore more than one entry by using multiple numbers.

Taskbook Restore Archived

To see tasks from a specific board, use -l and the board’s name. In the following example, we’re only checking the tasks in our mte board:

tb -l mte
Taskbook Check Specific List

Finally, when you have dozens of tasks in your boards, you can filter your lists with -f and a text string:

tb -f TEXT
Taskbook Filter Lists

After you get familiar with Taskbook’s commands, you’ll be able to juggle all your tasks by only using your keyboard while working in the terminal.

Now that you know how to manage tasks in the terminal, do you still prefer a more visual way to manage your tasks? A web-based solution or an app you also use on your smartphone? Tell us in the comments section below.

Odysseas Kourafalos
Odysseas Kourafalos

OK's real life started at around 10, when he got his first computer - a Commodore 128. Since then, he's been melting keycaps by typing 24/7, trying to spread The Word Of Tech to anyone interested enough to listen. Or, rather, read.

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