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Cameron Wardzala
Cameron Wardzala

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Setup todo.txt CLI on OSX with Homebrew and Dropbox

I have recently re-discovered todo.txt the handy plain text todo list, along with its CLI. I have fallen in love with this method for keeping to-do lists, it's taggable and has search capabilities too! One of the biggest pain points for me getting started was installing the CLI and hooking it up to Dropbox for cross-platform sharing. The todo.txt docs don't provide much of a step by step getting started for OSX with homebrew, they merely say go install with homebrew and then you have to dig through the Tips and Tricks to find what different params to setup to customize your experience.

This article will walk you through setting up todo.txt CLI on OSX with Homebrew and storing your todo.txt files in Dropbox for use across multiple platforms.

Heads up! make sure to change any <your username> to your OSX username

  1. Install todo.txt CLI with homebrew using this command

    $ brew install todo-txt

  2. Create a folder in your Dropbox folder called “todo”

  3. Create the following files in your new folder in your Dropbox folder

    • todo.txt
    • todo.txt.bak
    • report.txt
    • done.txt

    Or from the command-line, you could cd into your new folder and run this command instead

    $ touch todo.txt todo.txt.bak report.txt done.txt

  4. Make a copy of the todo.cfg in your new Dropbox folder

    $ cp /usr/local/Cellar/todo-txt/2.9/todo.cfg $HOME/Dropbox/todo

  5. Update your new todo.cfg file to reflect the location of your todo directory. This should be on line 4 change /Users/gina/Documents/todo to $HOME/Dropbox/todo

  6. Update your ~/.bash_profile with these lines

    source /usr/local/Cellar/todo-txt/2.9/etc/bash_completion.d/todo_completion
    complete -F _todo t

    alias t='/usr/local/Cellar/todo-txt/2.9/bin/ -d $HOME/Dropbox/todo/todo.cfg'

    This will give you the shortcut of t so you don't have to type every time. It will also add tab complete to for t as well.

  7. Restart your terminal and you should now be able to add tasks using

    $ t add “My first task”

For more info about todo.txt see

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