Taking Your To Do List Mobile with Todo.txt Touch

If you want to keep your task list portable and future proof, no software does that better than todo.txt. It’s a command line script that saves your tasks to a simple text file — one that you can move between different computers and operating systems with ease. Todo.txt has been covered on Make Tech Easier in the past.

That’s all well and good if you’re chained to a desktop PC or laptop. But what happens if you frequently go mobile? Well, if you have an Android-powered phone and a Dropbox account, then you can turn to Todo.txt Touch.

Getting It and Getting Going

On your phone, go to the Android Market app and search for todo.txt touch. Then, tap the one search result. You’ll have to buy Todo.txt Touch; there’s no trial version. The app will set you back $2.00.

Once it’s installed, launch Todo.txt Touch.

Todo.txt Touch main screen

The first thing you’ll need to do is link the app to your Dropbox account. When prompted, enter your Dropbox login information.

The app automatically saves your task list in a folder called todo in Dropbox. If you want to change the folder, tap the Menu button on your phone, and then tap Settings. On the Settings screen, tap File location and then type the name of another folder.

Adding a location

What If You Already Use Todo.txt on the Desktop?

That’s not a problem. First, make sure that you’re syncing the folder on Dropbox that Todo.txt Touch writes to with your computer. That should happen automatically. Then, move the file todo.txt into that Dropbox folder. You’ll also have to edit the file todo.cfg on your computer to point to the Dropbox folder. You can find instructions explaining how to do that here.

When you sync your task list with Todo.txt Touch, you’ll always be up to date.

Adding and Managing Tasks

Tap the Add button on the top right of the Todo.txt Touch screen. In the window that pops up, enter what you have to do and then tap Add.

Adding a task

Todo.txt uses a number of concepts from Getting Things Done (a popular method for personal organization). One of those concepts is contexts. A context is a thing, place, or person that you need to complete a task. All contexts have an @ sign in front of them For example, @Work denotes a task that you need to do in relation to your work. To include a context when adding a task, type @Context followed by the task.

You can also assign priorities to your tasks. To do that, tap a task on the main screen, and then tap Prioritize. On the Select priority screen, tap one of the priorities — ranging from A (most important) to E (least important).

Setting a priority

If you need to modify or delete a task, just tap it. On the screen that opens, do one of the following:

  • Tap Update to open the editing screen. From there, modify the task and then tap the Update button.
  • Tap Delete. When prompted, tap the Delete button to get rid of the task.

Finishing Up

You have all of those tasks in your list. Obviously, you’re going to work your way through them. What do you do when you’re done? Tap the task that you’ve finished, and then tap Complete on the screen that opens. The task is crossed out in your list.

Once you’ve done marked a task as complete, remember to synchronize it in Dropbox. To do that, tap the Synchronize button on the top right of the Todo.txt Touch screen. On the screen that opens, tap Upload.

If you use Todo.txt and an Android phone, then Todo.txt Touch is a great way to make your task list even more portable. You get all the features you’re used to in Todo.txt but in a nice and easy-to-use graphical package.

Photo credit: Purple Slog

Scott Nesbitt

Scott is a writer of various things -- documentation, articles, essays, and reviews -- based in Toronto, Canada. He loves to play with tech, and to write about it too. Scott hasn't snagged that elusive book contract. Yet.

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