QTodoTxt – A todo.txt GUI Client for Linux

Whether it is your personal life or professional life, your ability to manage tasks plays a key role in determining how productive you are. While it’s easy to manage a handful of tasks, things get messy when the list grows long. Thanks to technology, several software tools exist that help you manage your tasks effectively.

If you are a Linux user, you’ll be glad to know that there’s no dearth of task management applications for the OS. However, what’s important is that you choose the one that suits your requirements the best. We have already covered some Linux Todo applications in the past, and this time we will discuss a tool called QTodoTxt.

Note: all the instructions and commands mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04LTS.


QTodoTxt is basically a UI client for todo.txt files. For those who aren’t aware, todo.txt is a special todo list format consisting of a simple set of rules that make todo.txt both human and machine-readable. You can learn more about todo.txt here, although we’ll discuss some basic rules in this article as well.

Download and Install

The download and installation procedure for QTodoTxt is straight forward – all you have to do is head to the project’s web page, download the corresponding package for your Ubuntu system (“qtodotxt_1.6.1_all_deb.zip” in my case), decompress the archive, and install the .deb file.

Needless to say, you can install the .deb file by double clicking on it or through the command line using the following command:

sudo dpkg -i [deb file name]
sudo apt-get install -f

That completes the installation part. Now to launch the tool you can search for it using the Unity Dash and click the corresponding icon:


Alternatively, the tool can also be launched from the command line by running the following command:



The following screenshot shows the UI of QTodoTxt when it’s launched for the first time.


You can create a task by simply clicking the green-colored circular icon (with ‘+’ in it) and entering the task information.


Press OK and the task gets added, but not before you provide a text file name and storage location for it – this file is where the client stores all your task-related information in the todo.txt format.

The following screenshot shows the UI after a task has been added.


You can tweak the task’s priority by right-clicking on it.


Alternatively, you can also use a couple of key combinations (Shift + and Shift –) to increase and decrease the priority.

For example, I increased the priority of my task to the maximum.


Now you can also add a due date for your task, something which can be done by opening the Edit Task window (right click -> Edit Task) and adding the due date in the following way.


Yes, that’s an example of the todo.txt format that I mentioned in the beginning of the article. Click OK, and you’ll see that the task now contains a due date.


Next up, you can also add context to your tasks in order to categorize them. For example, the “Buy Medicines” task is not related to my work, so I added a “Personal” context to it. Here’s how I did it.



Of course, you can associate a context with multiple tasks if that makes sense.

You can also group tasks into Projects. If multiple tasks are part of a broader-level task that you want to perform, you can group them together under one roof. For example, If I want to clean multiple things, I can group the corresponding tasks under a single project called ‘Cleaning,’ making them easy to track.

For example, here are the cleaning related tasks.


Now, to add them to the Cleaning project, just add the project name preceded by a ‘+.’


As the above step is repeated for all the cleaning related tasks, all of them become part of the Cleaning project.


Finally, once you’re done with a task, use the “Complete Selected Tasks” in the right-click menu to mark them as completed.


Tasks marked as completed appear in the ‘Complete’ category in the left pane.



As basic as it may be, QTodoTxt is a decent UI client for todo.txt files. As long as you don’t require any specific advanced feature for task management, the tool – I’d say – is a good point to start. And since it’s just a client, you can always use the todo.txt format text file created by it in the very beginning with any other client. Give it a try.

Himanshu Arora
Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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