Thoughts on notes and todos

I often find myself a bit lost with what I have going on, what needs doing and what state things are in. I make notes on pieces of paper which are nice, small and physical, but easily lost, missed and forgotten. I also have some notes on Google’s Keep, these mostly get forgotten about though. I primarily spend my computer time on the command line or in a TUI of some sort or other. My paper notes solution doesn’t work there and doesn’t stay with me when I move places or computers. My Keep collection stays with me but also isn’t where I want it, in the terminal.

I like writing markdown files in my editor, keeping them easily readable by anyone while still retaining some pretty formatting. Sometimes I use task lists to give myself some todos inline, again, these get forgotten about.

I also want to be able to programmatically interact with my notes and todos so that I can write things around them and automate stuff.

There are a few online notes services which work online, there are a few CLI programs for tasks that work on the CLI and occasionally have a syncing option to the web or another machine. None of these seem to fit me though, perhaps I just haven’t spent enough time in them.

A loose list of wants

  • CLI interface using $EDITOR for composition
  • notes and todos in the same place
  • inline todos in notes
  • priority handling with due dates, potentially repetition
  • hierarchical grouping of notes and todos
  • syncing to other machines, with a native way of interacting with them there, e.g. a website
  • plaintext formats, like markdown, for sharing with people
  • conversion to json or something for sharing with machines
  • having sub-spaces for public, private and collaborative items


I might as well have a go at building something that might start to fit these criteria, mainly just for fun and learning. Perhaps I’ll find an existing application that does what I want out of the box, who knows. Maybe I’ll explore more what I want out of the tool too.