TaskWarrior for Writers
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TaskWarrior for Writers

About the Book

Become a better writer through organization and focus.

Do you work on multiple projects simultaneously with overlapping deadlines and commitments? Get work that won't be due for weeks or months? Wish for clarity about what to do next?

TaskWarrior, might be the solution. TaskWarrior is a professional level tool used by programmers to get the most out of their workday. Despite its old-school interface, its ability to organize tasks and automagically surface what is most important is exceptional.

Have you ever sat long hours at a keyboard? Or covered every visible surface with reminders of important things you couldn't find later? Missed an important deadline? Or forgotten a project?

TaskWarrior for Writers teaches you how to get tasks out of your head and into a system where they can't be lost. Learn multiple ways to organize tasks so they are always discoverable when needed. Hide distractions and see only what is important so you can focus.

From the chaos of multiple projects, deadlines and tasks to switching between projects seamlessly and getting more written. TaskWarrior for Writers offers the tips and strategies to design workflows that accommodate with your work style.

Leanpub Progress

The Leanpub philosophy is "publish early, publish often". This means that many Leanpub books are works in progress and TaskWarrior for Writers is no exception.

The current version (May 30, 2023) is a "testread" version. The first version of the book is content complete and the code minimally tested. The author is actively inviting feedback and corrections. Updates depend on the severity of the problems found. A second, expanded version of the content is planned, describing advanced features of TaskWarrior including hooks, more scripting, remote servers and commercial services.

About the Author

Wesley Penner
Wesley Penner

I have used TaskWarrior for over a decade to organize daily errands, recurring tasks, habit creation, and major projects. I've found it useful to keep track of overlapping commitments, dealing with multiple clients and always knowing what to do next.

When I started out, I felt overwhelmed. I found the interface (the terminal command line) off-putting. Reading introductory blog posts and watching videos often went over my head, as they expected a level of technical sophistication beyond that version of me.

So, I wanted to write a guide for smart keyboard warriors who might not feel technically sophisticated. Rather than assuming knowledge or talking down, I've aimed for writing with clarity and building knowledge stepwise.

If you've felt bewildered by TaskWarrior in the past, this guide will bring you up to an intermediate level and make you productive immediately after installing the app.

Table of Contents

  • Getting Started
    • Welcome
      • Why TaskWarrior
      • Why this Book?
      • Who It is For
      • Who It is Not for
      • Who I Am
      • But the Terminal? Really?
      • What You Will Learn
    • Installation
      • Digression: 5 Terminal Commands
      • Installing Homebrew
      • Installing TaskWarrior
      • Installing Vit & Tasksh
      • Upgrading
      • Summary of Installation
    • Quick Start
      • Four Foundational Commands
      • Summary of TaskWarrior Commands
    • Command Overview and Shortcuts
      • Command Overview
      • Task Attributes
      • The Command Pattern
      • Shortcuts and Vit
      • Moving to Vit
      • Modify / Update
      • Revisiting Moving Around in Vit
      • Summary of Command Overview and Shortcuts
    Working with Metadata
    • Date Modifiers: Due, Schedule and Wait
      • Due
      • Schedule
      • Wait
      • Date Shortcuts
      • Summary of Date Modifiers
    • Tags
      • Tag Rules
      • Setting Tags
      • Removing Tags
      • Virtual Tags
      • Application: Process Steps with Tags
      • Summary of Tags
    • Projects and Sub-Projects
      • Projects
      • Sub-Projects
      • Which to Use: Projects v Sub-Projects v Tagging
      • Application: Context Batching
      • Summary of Projects
    • Other Task Modifiers: Priority, Dependency, Annotations
      • Priority
      • Dependency
      • Annotations
      • Summary of Other Task Modifiers
    • Working with Times
      • Start/Stop Timing
      • Application: tracking time v tracking active tasks
      • Calculating Time
      • Summary of Working with Time
    Improving Focus
    • Filtering
      • Applying Filters
      • Summary of Filtering
    • Listing
      • Changing Lists
      • Lists Functionality Revealed
      • Application: Combining Lists and Filters
      • Summary of Lists
    • Contexts
      • Defining a New Context
      • Setting a Context
      • Clearing the Context
      • Listing All Contexts
      • Deleting a Context
      • Summary of Contexts
    • Reporting
      • Reports Overview
      • Summary of Reporting
    • Customizable Lists
      • Create a Report from Scratch
      • Custom Report Description
      • Defining Custom Columns
      • Custom Column Labels
      • Custom Column Sorting
      • Custom Column Filtering
      • Summary of Customizable Lists
    • User Defined Attributes
      • Setting up the Attribute
      • Using the UDA
      • Displaying the UDA
      • Application: Size Workflow Hack
      • Undoing UDAs
      • Summary of UDAs
    Advanced Workflows
    • Reviewing Tasks
      • Tasksh for Weekly Reviews
      • Commands for Reviewing
      • Filtering Reviews
      • Summary of Filtering Reviews
    • Configuration Files
      • Shell Configuration
      • TaskWarrior Configuration
      • Vit Configuration
      • Summary of Configuration
    • Bash Scripting and TaskWarrior
      • Standardize Task List Creation (Bash)
      • Working with Temporary Folders
      • Backing Up the Database
      • Summary of Bash Scripting
    • Python Scripting and TaskWarrior
      • Habit Builder (Python)
      • Application: Dependency Trees (Python)
      • Application: Dependency Visualization (Python)
      • Summary of Python Scripting

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