CLI Tool


To add a task run:

tl add Improve the TaskLite manual

It is also possible to immediately add tags when creating a task:

tl add Improve the TaskLite manual +tasklite +pc

Attention: The tags must be the last parameters


For a full overview of all supported subcommands run:

tasklite help

Screenshot of CLI output of help command

Context / Views

There is no first class support for views (or "context" in GTD slang), because it can be easily implemented with aliases / custom CLI commands and the SQL query API.

For example I have following work command in my $PATH:

#! /usr/bin/env bash

tasklite query \
  "(tags is null or tags not like '%feram%') \
    and state is 'Open' \
    order by priority \
    desc limit 10"


Instead of allowing one to explicitly set a state, TaskLite infers the current state from several other fields.

There are 2 primary states:

  • Open - Waits to be done
  • Closed - Nothing left to be done

And 9 exclusive secondary states.

  • Asleep - Is hidden because it's not relevant yet
  • Awake - Has become relevant or will become soon
  • Ready - Is ready to be done (similar to Open)
  • Waiting - It's still unclear if the task needs to be done or really has been done. Regular checks are necessary until situation clears up.
  • Review - It's necessary to check if the task can finally be started or if it has finally been completed.
  • Done - Has been done
  • Obsolete - Has become obsolete or impossible to finish
  • Deletable - Not needed anymore and can be deleted (item in the trash)
  • Blocked - Some other task(s) must be done first. Blockers are stored in a separate table.
Asleep> now> now
Awake< now> now
Ready< now< now
Waiting> now
Review< now


  • ❌ = Not allowed
  • ✅ = Required
  • ❔ = Maybe

Additional secondary states:

  • Repeating - If this task get completed, a duplicate will be created with the specified time offset. I.e. subsequent tasks get delayed (e.g. mowing the lawn)
  • Recurring - Task which needs to be done every day, week, etc. I.e. missed completions must be caught up immediately. (e.g. paying rent) The number of tasks which will be created in advance can be set via a config.

Analyze and Filter Tasks

In order to further analyze and filter tasks TaskLite includes the ndjson command, which prints all tasks as newline delimited JSON objects.

This output can then easily be analyzed and filtered with standard UNIX tools. E.g. following example prints all tasks related to music:

tl ndjson | grep 'music' | jq


Import a GitHub issue:

curl$OWNER/$REPO/issues/$NUM | tl import


Use one of following commands:

  • tl csv
  • tl ndjson
  • tl backup - Creates a backup at $TaskLiteDir/backups/YYYY-MM-DDtHHMM.db