j d o t x t

jdotxt is an open source, cross-platform Desktop tool for managing your todo list. It’s geared towards Gina Trapani’s todo.txt file format and stores all of your stuff in two human readable text files. Having these files on your owncloud, dropbox or any other cloud storage makes it easy as pie to keep your todos in sync across multiple devices.

Download and Installation

  • Windows (Installer)

    Download installer. When you launch jdotxt, you may be asked to download and install Java, which you should do in that case.

  • Mac OS X

    1. Make sure you have Java JRE >= 7 installed. E.g., by downloading and installing it from http://www.java.com
    2. As always: download, mount, drag&drop this file
  • Ubuntu >= 12.10 (Repository)

    Open a terminal and execute the following three commands (line by line):

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chms/jdotxt
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install jdotxt
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

    First you must get JRE >= 7 by executing the following two commands (line by line):

    sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
    sudo update-alternatives --config java

    After executing the second line you will be asked, which version of Java you would like to use by default. Select the one that has version number 7 or higher in its path name.

    Now continue with the instructions for Ubuntu >= 12.10 (see above)

  • Debian GNU/Linux

    Download and install the jdotxt Debian file. Of course this works on Ubuntu too, but it is highly recommended to use the repository, for automatic updates.

  • Generic (Works on Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X)

    Download the jar file and execute it using Java JRE >= 7 (http://www.java.com)

Mastering jdotxt in 110 Seconds

Get Involved!

You are more than welcome to drop me a line via one of the online platforms I use, or to contribute by reporting bug reports or feature requests via github. The source code is also hosted on github.com so feel free to contribute!


Christian M. Schmid
Mikhail Kalkov


jdotxt is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

36 thoughts on “j d o t x t

  1. ArchiMark

    Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

    Downloaded and installed it today … looks great ….

    Have problem with saving a task if I include the context as you instruct in video. I reported this as bug on github ….

    Otherwise, excellent ….


  2. Joe


    Love jdotxt. Thanks so much for creating and sharing this!

    Do you have plans to enable visibility of due dates, sorting by due dates, etc.?


  3. HR

    The executables aren’t redirecting correctly today.
    I have found the Github project, but it would be nice to get direct access to jar or exe files.

    1. Christian M. Schmid (Post author)

      Thanks for reporting the issue. I am not exactly sure what the problem is/was. I could just download all the files linked in this post. Maybe bintray was down for a second. Can you please try again?

    1. Christian M. Schmid (Post author)

      Hi Wart,

      Thank you for your comment. I am sorry, but this is currently not supported by jdotxt. I might think about this feature in the future.

      Cheers, Christian

  4. Ed Constantine

    I’ve been using the windows version of jdotxt for about 6 months and have loved it.

    For the past week or so, a problem has started happening: Every time I make any change in the windows version of my task list, I get a pop-up telling me:

    Your todo.txt file has been modified by another program. Do you want to reload the file? (with Yes / No boxes below it)

    I almost switched to another GUI, but decided to stay with jdotxt because it’s really better than anything else out there, but to make this workable, I’ve had to turn off the autosave feature, which I’d rather not do.

    Any ideas / insights / suggestions?

    With much thanks,

    1. MT

      I have the same problem. Turning off the autosave feature doesn’t help, unfortunately. I am using Windows 7.
      PS. I love this programme! Thanks for creating it.

  5. alex

    Hi Christian,

    I am still using only jdotxt. Just a great tool.
    I miss a word-accomplishment feature.
    Is it possible to put it on the user-wishlist? ;)

    Thank you

  6. Zsolt Szokolai

    Hi Christian,
    thank your work!

    I have been using Gina’s app on android and I was looking for a solution for mac os and linux.
    As a newbie on java it was a bit of difficulty because dropped the following message:
    Error: Could not find or load main class jdotxt-0.4.5.jar
    After a litle man reading I figured out the -jar option so the successful launch command is:
    java -jar jdotxt-0.4.5.jar
    Just in case if your linux is nor debian nor ubuntu ;)

    Thank you again, regards

  7. David

    Just downloaded the mac version and it doesn’t work. I get an error stating that it can’t load the Java runtime. It seems that you need to update this application to work with Java 8.

  8. Gord

    Hi, is there a way to run this from a USB Stick? My computer is locked down at work, but USB would work.

    1. Christian M. Schmid (Post author)

      Two options:
      1.) Download the jar file (see above under generic) and put it onto your USB stick. You should be able to launch jdotxt by double-clicking on the jar file
      2.) Install jdotxt on another computer and to just copy the executable jdotxt.exe from “C:\Program Files\jdotxt” to your memory stick. You should be able to run jdotxt.exe form there.
      For both options your computer at work has to support Java (JRE > 7)

  9. Aubrey

    The best desktop todo.txt processor there is

    Might I be so bold as to suggest three usability enhancements

    a) It would be better to have the delete box and the tickbox to the
    left not the right. On a wide screen it is a long way to look to make
    sure you are checking and deleting the correct item.

    b) You should tell people where it stores info (ie where it stores the
    location of the todo.txt. I presume it is the registry in windows. It would be
    nice to have a local ini file instead (or one that is looked at first,
    and probably relative path to the file so it will be properly
    portable. I accept it will still need java but this is not generally a problem
    (and can be portable as well)

    c) More difficult: Your counterpart as the best todo.txt processor on
    android is simpletask (by far). You might consider aligning with that
    by allowing the extra discretionary fields of the form

    for threshold and deadline dates.

    You would then have a great app combination.

  10. Chris Waterguy

    I’m keen to try this, but I’m worried about the Java’s reputation for poor security. I currently don’t have the JRE on my Windows 8 machine – what do I need to do to run JRE as safely as possible on Windows 8 or 10?

  11. Chris Waterguy

    > b) You should tell people where it stores info (ie where it stores the location of the todo.txt. I presume it is the registry in windows. It would be nice to have a local ini file instead

    Oh! That rules out this app for me. I need to have control over the location of the todo.txt file so that I can sync with the Android apps.

  12. Aubrey

    It is in fact easy to put the todo.txt wherever you like (so that is not an issue) but it is not clear where the software stores where this place is. It is easy to sync with Android apps.

  13. Christian M. Schmid (Post author)

    Hi Aubrey,

    jdotxt makes use of the Java preferences API. This means that the actual storage location for all of jdotxt’s settings depends on the platform you are using it on. For instance on my Windows machine the settings are stored in the registry “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JavaSoft\Prefs\com\chschmid\jdotxt”

    On my Linux machine they are stored in a file under ~/.java/.userPrefs

  14. Toby

    I’m new to plain text todo managers, and just learned about todo.txt (and your app) today. Love it – is there any way to add support for subtasks, which could be added via a ++ tag following the parent (e.g. +tasks++subtask)? A second panel next to the main panel could show the subtasks listed for a parent task. I don’t code in Java – but that has me wanting to learn to see if I could add that to this project. Still – nice job! Thanks!

    1. Nemesio

      + is used for projects, not for tasks, the task is what it is before the “+”
      Actually it is task +project @context if you follow the GTD approach
      Do you really need context, projects, tasks and subtasks ?

  15. Jan

    Using jdotxt now for two weeks and for me it is almost perfect. It makes my to do environment complete on Windows. The rest works through ownCloud and with Foldersync and Simpletask Cloudless on Android.
    However, to get a better visual feedback of the list, it would be nice to color different priorities and also due days. A sort by due date would also be nice.
    Unfortunately, I am not familiar with Java coding, but would love to contribute.

    Great little piece of software!

  16. Nemesio

    I am still looking for a GTD software for linux.
    I like your application to manage todo.txt files.
    I follow at 100 % your approach of simplicity but
    for me there are just two things lacking with which
    jdotxt would remain simple but much more performant

    1) Ability to change the order of tasks within a project
    without editing by hand the txt file, which can be a pain
    with then projects and 10 tasks per project…

    2) Ability to show just the “next” task for all the projects
    (the first task in the list for each project)
    in order to be able to chose the best task at a given time
    in the context of the GTD philosophy

    Congratulations, in any case, for your piece of software.

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  18. Frank

    I really like the design and functionality of jdotxt, but noticed there has been no activity in a couple of years. Do you have any plans to continue developing jdotxt?

  19. K

    Help! I used this on my former laptop Win 7 Pro and my work computers (Mac OS X) no problem but tried installing it on my Win 10 Home laptop and every time I tried to assign where my data file is (in my Dropbox account, not the default location created by jdotxt) by clicking on “Choose directory” the program closes on me.

    Also, I’d like to re-state the Thomas’ Sept 2014 request for the ability to change fonts. My eyes are getting old and the thin font is harder to see.


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  21. René

    jdotxt ist ein echt tolles und durchdachtes Werkzeug! Danke Christian. Ich nutze es mit Manjaro XFCE, einwandfrei. Ein Wunsch wäre einzig, dass es in den Tray minimiert werden kann – dennoch, absolut empfehlenswert!

  22. René

    Gibt es eine Möglichkeit pro Priorität eine individuelle Farbe zuzuweisen (zum Beispiel A=rot, B=grün, C=gelb, D=…)? Ich mag es schlicht, doch alles ton in ton macht es zuweilen etwas unübersichtlich. Danke und liebe Grüsse, PS. Dennoch ist jdotxt die Nr.1!

  23. René

    Hallo Christian

    Da bin ich doch wieder einmal. Da ich nun mit Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon arbeite läuft jdotxt leider nicht mehr — keine focal-Unterstützung. Sehe ich das richtig, dass du jdotxt nicht mehr weiter entwickelst? Ich ändere wirklich nur schweren Herzens zu einer anderen todo.txt-App. Du hast da wahrhaft eine sensationoelle, einfach und durchdachte Software entwickelt.

    Herzliche Grüsse


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