Active Tasks in Taskwarrior
I use Taskwarrior’s priority system to show what I want to be working on now. What if there are several things I want to be working on right now? Even with my priority rules, I still find myself drawn to the lower priority tasks that are more interesting. Realistically, I can only do one thing at a time. How do I remind myself which task should have my active attention?
Easy! Use the
$ task 72 start
This assigns the virtual tag
+ACTIVE to the task. The regular task
report highlights active tasks, as well as showing a new ``Active’'
column indicating how long the task has been active.
$ task ID Active Age P Project Tag Description Urg 72 12min 1h H blog taskwarrior start, stop, and active 10.9 61 7d H crochet gift crochet crown for mom 6.94 47 3mo M art upload felix to dbh 5.35 35 6mo L site layout add Year link to content headers 4.75 ⋮
Being active increases the urgency of a task, bubbling it up to the top in this report. I can also request to see only the active tasks.
active report shows me only those tasks that have been assigned
+ACTIVE virtual tag. Very handy in my blog [context], when
many curious ideas are tugging at my easily distracted brain and I need
to see just what I’m doing.
$ task active ID Started Active Age P Project Tag Description Urg 72 2018-12-01 14min 1h H blog taskwarrior start, stop, and active 10.9
You can start as many tasks as you like. I find that distracting.
Taskwarrior helps me focus, and starting a dozen different tasks feels
like the opposite of focusing. I’ll limit
+ACTIVE for one task that
I intend to be working on at this moment.
I’m still writing this post, but I need to do something else real quick.
I could just
start that other task, but that blows a hole in my “one
active task at a time” personal rule. Instead I’ll show that my
attention is elsewhere with
$ task 72 stop Stopping task 72 'start, stop, and active'. Stopped 1 task.
Okay excuse me for a few minutes.
$ task 73 start Starting task 73 'walk the dog'. Started 1 task. ⋮ $ task 73 done Completed task 73 'walk the dog'. Completed 1 task. You have more urgent tasks.
You have more urgent tasks. — Yeah, tell that to the dog.
$ task 72 start Starting task 72 'start, stop, and active'. Started 1 task.
Now where was I? Oh yeah. I wanted to mention time tracking.
Taskwarrior is not for time tracking
stop commands show up in the task’s modification
history, including timestamps and information about duration of active
$ task 72 No command specified - assuming 'information'. Name Value ID 72 Description start, stop, and active Status Pending Entered 2018-12-01 12:27:44 (2h) Start 2018-12-01 14:43:08 Last modified 2018-12-01 14:43:08 (17min) Tags blog taskwarrior Virtual tags ACTIVE PENDING READY TAGGED UDA UNBLOCKED PRIORITY UUID f5f87929-a4e8-4af4-bb38-cf142235f693 Urgency 10.9 Priority H active 1 * 4 = 4 tags 0.9 * 1 = 0.9 UDA priority.H 1 * 6 = 6 ------ 10.9 Date Modification 2018-12-01 13:25:51 Priority changed from 'L' to 'M'. 2018-12-01 13:41:53 Priority changed from 'M' to 'H'. 2018-12-01 13:42:01 Start set to '2018-12-01 13:42:01'. 2018-12-01 13:59:06 Start deleted (duration: PT17M5S). 2018-12-01 14:43:08 Start set to '2018-12-01 14:43:08'.
Even though there are timestamps in the task info, this is clumsy for
time tracking. The Taskwarrior team also wrote
Timewarrior, a command line
tool dedicated to tracking and reporting time. It even hooks into
stop commands, giving you time management
with your task management.
I may explore Timewarrior eventually, but for now I am content using
Taskwarrior alone to show what I’ve done with
completed, what I’m
doing right now with today’s new commands, and what I want to do (with