[x]it! – A plain-text file format for todos and check lists

[x]it! – A plain-text file format for todos and check lists

Todos and checklists are perhaps the most common entry point for busy people doing their first foray into knowledge management. This is because they exist to answer the very immediate problem of "what do I do today"?

The format introduced by [x]it! is simple and command line friendly (AKA amenable to grep/sort/awk).

Some features that stood out to me:

  • tags that can have values
    [ ] do the thing #tag=values
  • tasks that can span multiple lines
    [ ] this is a task 
        that spans multiple lines
  • syntax for due dates
    [ ] this task is due -> 2022-09-01

Plaintext todos do seem to be the sort of thing that is under constant re-invention, see todo.txt formats, taskpaper, and Taskwarrior - Command Line Syntax just to name a few. This is probably because organizing tasks is like organizing knowledge - something highly personal to the person doing it.

This is also why task management tools span an enormous range in complexity - from the minimalist todo.txt to extravagant feature buffets that is jira.

At the end of the day, the best system is going to be the one that you can stick to. What is your system for todos?