Todour is an application for handling todo.txt files (as made famous by Gina Trapani of Lifehacker) on Windows, Mac and Linux. The format is especially practical for an approach similar to the one suggested in the book Getting Things Done  by David Allen, often referred to as GTD.


Mac version

The application is superbly simple and has worked well for me in daily usage for months years now. Just point it to where the todo.txt file is kept in settings and off you go.

There is no support for anything fancy, even if the feature set is slowly increasing. The application is supposed to be robust and simple.

The application always works directly on the todo.txt and done.txt files when any action is performed. There is no caching or intermediate storage of any kind or need to save.

The application should be mostly self explanatory otherwise and I hope it is of some value to you using it.


Windows version


Enjoy 🙂


If you like this program then please listen to some of my music

Also note that I’ve added some analytics (easy to turn off) in the application so I can get information on how many people actually use it. See this post or the PRIVACY document supplied with the application.

Contact me by writing in the forums below or tweet to @sverriv



57 thoughts on “Todour

  1. snu

    Dear Sverrir !
    Just wanted to thank you for your great ‘little’ application !
    For my perspective – beeing an architect with quiet a lot of tasks – Gina’s todo.txt with your todour ist the best, minimalistic way to take the notes i need to remember.
    Thanks a lot !
    Regards, snu

  2. Charles

    Hi Sverrir,
    I’m happy I finally found this great Windows app fot todo.txt, since I don’t have the Net Framework required for the official one.
    Thank you very much for your work.

  3. Duncan Lithgow

    Hi there, like the others I just want to say thanks. And it plays very nicely with Simpletask via Dropbox

  4. gsr

    A very nice application.
    I have a request – If you could please make this app portable, that would be awesome!

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi Thanks for the comment. That should be a really simple thing to do (it probably is portable already, just not well packaged for it). I’ll look into it.

  5. Ralph Hania

    Thanks a lot, perfect app for me, just great.

    And now a stupid question: what’s the minus button for?

  6. Ralph Hania

    Sorry, I know already what the button does. But I have another more relevant question (IMO): Is it possible to move the tasks up and down? If not, why wouldn’t we want to do this?

    1. sverrirv Post author

      The tasks are sorted based on priority and alphabet, so basically the only way to move a task up is to change its first letter.

  7. Jos v.d. Voort v.d. Kleij

    I need an app like this for a friend that works for the Dutch equivalent of the NSA.

    She needs to have her tasks portable on a secure USB stick. todo.txt would do the job but she needs a GUI that can be portable on the USB stick as well. No installation on her work computer possible of any app, cloud solutions not allowed either.

    Can this be installed as a portable solution?

  8. Dave

    Great app – many thanks!! Quick question….I use “tabs” to “line up” my projects (+house, +work, +holiday, …). It works fine and all projects line up when I open the text file with my text editor.

    But this does not work in the app. I do use a monospaced font in my text file. Is there a way to fix this?

    Another option would be to make a separate column for projects?

    Thanks again for making this available!

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi. Thank you for commenting and nice to hear that you like using the app.
      There is no really good way of doing the same “tab magic” that you do in a text file in the program sadly The only way would be to have separate columns but that would quite fast qet out of control and reduce flexibility for those who use very many projects.

  9. Nils Winkler

    One thing I’m missing from Todour is the ability to access the input fields using keyboard shortcuts, or an easier way to enter items. When I open Todour (on Mac OS X), the “Archive” button has the focus – I find this an odd choice. To enter a new entry, I have to “Shift+Tab” a couple of times until I’m in the entry field.

    It would be great if the new entry input field was the default field when I open the app, and if there were keyboard shortcuts for search and the other actions. I hate using the mouse…

    Great app otherwise, well done!

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi. Thanks for the feedback. I hadn’t thought of the usability of the app from the keyboard for some reason. I’ll fix this and update.

      Thanks again

  10. Eugene

    Hi Sverrir,
    Thank you for Todour!

    I have several questions:
    1) Is it possible for Windows version to save and restore window position and size between runs somehow? Is it only portable version problem?
    2) Is it by design for Todour to lose keyboard focus after ENTER key pressed after issue text editing? I know I can do complex editing in text editor, but still.
    3) Will use-frequency-sorted filters combobox button a lightweight enough feature to be implemented?


    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi, and thanks for trying out Todour.

      1) That’s fixed in the next update. I hope to get around releasing it during the coming week
      2) Now that was interesting. I’ve never thought of that. I’ll have a look at it and if it’s easy to fix I’ll do that before releasing next time. (It seems to be only the list that looses focus. The application still keeps the focus and you can navigate around using tab and arrows still (and enter to edit a line in the list)
      3) That’s nothing I’ve planned. I’ll put it in the backlog.


      1. Eugene


        1) Wonderful! Could “Todo” table column width be saved and restored too? Or maybe always fit full width of window by default?
        2) Great! Also noticed no ABC sorting for simple issues, only (A)/(B)/… ones and Inactive ones get sorted. Is it intentional?
        3) Maybe Ctrl+F to begin search text editing then?

        * mark dependent issues with !depname
        * mark those other dependent on with !!depname
        * then use search to find other with same !depname and dependency origin !!depname

        * use ++projectname prefix to have a list of wanna-start projects and quick search’em
        * use ::projectname prefix to have a list of specific project issues

        It’s interesting how many lines can Todoour process without noticable slowdown?

        1. sverrirv Post author

          1) The column width is always full width of the window.
          2) It’s intentional to only sort the prioritised issues. The rest are in the same order as they were in the file. This is trivial to make selectable though.
          3) In next release I’ve now added Ctrl+f for find and Ctrl+n for “new” (move focus to the edit line). Enter on a line to edit that line.

          There is a bug currently that “forgets” the position of the selected item in the list if you change anything with edit but other than that a full keyboard use should be possible (it’s possible, just not optimal with the next release if I don’t figure this one out in the coming day or so..)

          Thanks for the ideas. I noted them. Best would be if things could be somehow configurable so anyone can add tags att will. Need to think more on that or if I just add stuff straight off.

          Todour should be quite fast, but it doesn’t cache the file and always works on the actual file data and re-reads it when a change has been made. That makes it a little bit slower than it could be, but on the other hand it can’t get out of sync with the file it’s working on.

          1. Eugene


            As far as I’ve tested currently (version 2.02) “Todo” column width being resized initially to a widest issue text width only. At least for Windows version. If there are no issues its width initially equals to width of “Todo” text. When issues added via “+” button or by file being edited its width remains the same forcing issues texts to be displayed with ending ellipsis… Sadly a restart required to fix it automatically.


          2. sverrirv Post author

            Thanks for pointing that out. It’s definitely a bug that is now fixed in the 2.03 version (not out just yet)

  11. Bart

    When entering a string that starts with an “x” the item is marked complete, even it not followed by a space.
    A capital X does not exhibit this behavior.

    “xavier” -> marked complete => *incorrect*
    “Xavier” -> marked incomplete => correct
    “x some note” -> marked complete => correct
    “X some other note” -> marked incomplete => correct

  12. Chris Waterguy

    Sometimes I paste text into the “new task” field, and don’t realise that there is a line break in there. So it splits the task, but this is not obvious to me at the time, and it’s awkward to fix.

    Could line breaks be stripped out?

    (Using v 2.03 on Windows 10.)

    Thanks again for this great tool.

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi. Thanks for the suggestion.
      Would it add value to do that instead of using the (A) (B) and so on for forcing a sort of the items needed to sort?

      (note there is a bug in 2.04 that causes that sorting to not always work. I fix is comming)

    1. sverrirv Post author

      No, it’s not open source anymore. I will make it available again when I take the time to clean it up a little bit, but for now it’s closed source.

  13. Peter Gorrill

    (Windows version V2.06) Nice app, simple, reliable and as mentioned above ties in nicely with Simpletask (Android). Well done and thanks.

    One little point (always…). When I highlight an entry (blue bar) I use this to scroll up/down the list as a visible pointer. Problem is, when it gets to the bottom or top of the window it scrolls out of view! Can you arrange for the highlight bar to stay within the window and for the task entries to scroll?



    1. sverrirv Post author

      Thanks for the nice words. Appreciate it 🙂

      Do you mean that the selection should then “stick” to the top or bottom of the window during scrolling and change selection as you scroll?

          1. Peter Gorrill

            Something sticky – chewing gum, super glue ;-))

            Thanks, no rush, just a nice to have but seems like a sensible feature.


  14. Mark E. Lund

    Hi Sverrir,
    Thank You so much for your program.
    I have been using it for a long time. Easily the best of the todo.txt applications. Excellent feature being able to copy and paste “within” the program easily. I used to spend time having to edit my Todo.txt file with a text editor (NOT ANYMORE). I was formally a big paper and pen guy. Still like to carry a running Todo list on paper to physical scratch tasks off as I go during the course of my day. A Print Preview/Print option would be a nice addition to get a hard copy of the list showing tasks Todo and recently completed before the archive. Something about being able to “check the box” on paper away from the computer screen appeals to me at times. Also the ‘Geek” side of me would love to see a running line count or the option to view Overall Stats concerning the use of the program. neither is that big a deal. Honestly the app is a “perfect 10 as is.
    Again thanks,

    P.S. Kudos to you for very actively corresponding to those that use your program.

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi Mark. Happy you like using it 🙂 I know what you mean with paper and pen.. I can’t let mine go completely either (in love with Rhodia paper).
      I think I can add some kind of a print function and stats is something I’d want to add too.. I’m thinking to add a simple count of active, inactive and done for starters (from the todo.txt file, so by archiving you will affect what the app is counting). Is that along the lines of what you’re thinking?

  15. Chris Waterguy

    Re the setting “Sort all inactives last”:
    * How do you define inactive tasks?
    * How do we use this field?

    Thanks. I apologise if the answer is written somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi Chris.
      Well, documentation is something I haven’t done a lot of :|. If you check the video here it shows how its used at ca 0:40.

      Basically what it does is look for a word that you’ve specified in the “Inactive” word field in settings and show those lines as grey. I normally add words like WAIT: and LATER: and then sort the inactives last. That way I can write

      “WAIT:for a better day”

      on a line and it gets out of my way for now. If I don’t sort inactives last it would stay where it is and just turn grey. I hope this explained it. If not, just ping me again.

  16. Castle


    First, this is a great app! Well done!

    Two questions:

    1) can you set the date to dd/mm/yyyy format?

    2) why the date doesn’t appear on the app? It only shows up at the todo.txt file.


    1. sverrirv Post author

      Thanks for the comment.
      1) That could be doable of course. Question is if we’d want to as it would break compatibility with todo.txt file format. Perhaps it could be just shown in that format I guess.
      2) No one has asked for it 🙂 I’ll put it on the list.

  17. Martin Strobel

    Hi, thanks for todour, well made and very usable. I’m using it on my macbook and 2 linux laptops I also need (arch and solus). I’d like to encourage you to further support your linux version, it is very much appreciated.
    Regards Martin

    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi Martin,
      Thanks for the nice words and I’m glad you find it useful.
      I didn’t see that much downloads of the Linux version and as it is a little hassle to make it (I currently don’t use Linux) I stopped doing it.
      Knowing that it is used I can of course make a Linux version next time I release as long as it’s ok like this (just a zip file.. I don’t know how to make a .deb,.rpm and so on..)

  18. Andrew

    Hi Sverrirv,

    Thanks for a great program – I have been looking for years for a simple format To Do list that would allow a process that I learnt many years ago – it was the foundation of the GTD process of Day Timer but also accommodated Time Manager. It is simply identifying your A B C D and E’s consistent with Charles Hobbs (Day Timer) procedure, but only allowing only one A1 etc. But you might have a number of really urgent tasks (that need to be completed today – so you might have 5 A’s. You might also have a number of B’s (say 8) so at the beginning of the day how do you organize that, plus recognize that some of your previous days “As” did not get done. The A, B etc system has no way of dealing with that….

    So at the beginning of the day all As are probably equal until you assign their relative priority adjusting them To A1, A2, A3 etc. New As become AX and are dealt with by either re-organizing your A1 through A5 or sorting tomorrow if you can’t get to today.

    What happens if one of your Bs (say an outbound telephone call to someone) rings you now. It has now become somewhat “urgent” – that is you can’t tell them to ring back so unless you are working by Time Manager “rules” (which means you only work on the task allocated the time to do it and nothing else is “allowed” to interfere) you are probably going to take the call….

    Most task managers allow you to prioritize using A, B, C etc but not don’t allow multiple Bs (B1 through B8 plus a few BXs on the end…) you see the problem. This “ToDo.txt” process does allow this, and it is easy to sort your simple list. Plus, I presume because I haven’t tried it yet, you can place tasks into categories (work, personal etc) and then into priority order within them.

    Lastly, incomplete tasks “roll over” to the next day, holding the priority you assigned the day before, however at day begin you can reassign today’s priorities. Plus that person you were urgently trying to contact yesterday and couldn’t get hold of, has now gone on holiday and won’t be back for a week – what is the priority now?

    In my system it is still an A but has become an AX. The “Due Date” is amended to reflect the next date you will try to call, and the original date it was “put on the list” is still there as well. Finally the “Done Date” is added when complete and then can be archived to Done.txt…..

    The only question I now have is how best to sync this across to my Samsung Note 4? I hope I can use SimpleTask (free and recommended above) but I wonder what will happen to the (A1), (A2)…. (B1), (B2) etc – actually don’t need the brackets so A1, A2… AX, AX, AX, AY, AZ, B1, B2…BX, BX, BX etc with the Gina Trapani’s Todo.txt (Android) app as it seems there will be a problem with the A1, A2 etc as most of these systems only allow 1 letter in the A to Z priority list (that doesn’t work for me….). Perhaps one suggestion is to bring A1, A2 etc into the task’s description – but what then of the (A), (B), (C) etc – does anyone know?

    I presume the text file can be stored in Dropbox and read with any Notepad, Excel (text) editor etc so even if on computer, lists can still be read/managed remotely?

    I hope someone can help with some answers and guidance…


    1. sverrirv Post author

      Hi Andrew. Thanks for writing about this method you use. Todo.txt doesn’t allow for any other priority than (A), (B), (C) and so on, so (A1) is supposed to be handled as any other line in the list. See the priority rule from the description of the format (link)

      The priority is an uppercase character from A-Z enclosed in parentheses and followed by a space.

      Depending on how the lists are implemented however, you might still get the wanted effect using the system as long as the application is sorting alpabetically. Todour can do that, but I don’t know of the mobile applications. You will want to use the parenthesis however to ensure your prioritized tasks to come first in the list.

      There is no problem syncing the file over dropbox. I do that and it works great having todour on my work and private computer and an application on my iphone that also reads from the same file (and all have different filters entered so I get different contexts in different places).

      Thanks for the feedback and good luck with your system.

  19. Andrew

    Hi Sverrirv

    Actually have noticed a small problem when you click on Settings under Win 10: the settings box is very small and can’t see the options very well
    Top line says “Direct” (and have pointed this to folder todo.txt file is in (and assume this can be pointed to Dropbox sub-folder to share between machines?), next line “Inacti” (assume it is Inactive as is looking for a folder or possible a file name for completed tasks – therefore Done.txt?).

    Below that is “Sort all inactive (I have checked).
    Then “Refresh automatically when fil” (nothing more and I have checked as have assumed last word is “filing” (therefore “saving”?).
    Next line “Add dates to” is all that is there (assume it is Add dates to tasks for date entered?).
    Last line is “Disable Anal” which I assume is Analytics for usage tracking – have left this unchecked :).


  20. Shawn Rutledge

    Where is your git repo for the source?

    For some reason there is no Arch Linux package for this. I wish there was.

  21. Dwight

    Hi Sverrirv,

    Really like the app. Use it every day, along with todo.txt apps on Android devices, an iPad and on the Chrome Browser.

    Have found a small bug. On my Macbook Pro running OS X 10.10.5, if I search for an item and then edit it, the app crashes when hitting the key. Fortunately, the edit is accepted.

    Hope you can reproduce it.



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