Tasque + Dropbox = centralized task management for Linux and Windows

Wunderlist has always been the go-to application for cross-platform synchronized task management. Unfortunately, it’s a heavy system and version 2 withdrew support for Linux, apparently never to return. Tasque is a great fantastic simple task manager which runs well on both Linux and Windows but it lacks any sort of synchronization capabilities. Technically it is supposed to support Remember The Milk as a backend but it does not work well on Linux and doesn’t seem to work at all on Windows.

Fortunately, the local storage option for Tasque is simply an SQLite database and a config file which are stored in the local users profile which can easily be redirected to a synced folder such as Dropbox. For this setup, we are going to use hard links and junctions rather than actually syncing the file using something like rsync. The sync method is probably a bit safer and more accurate, particularly if there is a chance that the database might be open on multiple systems at the same time, but for the sake of simplicity, we are going to skip this.

For starters, choose one installation of Tasque that has your tasks in it that you want to keep and back that installation up. The folder is located at ~/.config/tasque on Linux and %APPDATA%\tasque on Windows. If you don’t have tasks that you want to save, you can skip this. If you have tasks on multiple systems that need to be saved, see the last section regarding editing the database.

For either system, the first step is to create a folder called tasque in your Dropbox folder. The name is case sensitive and it is probably a good idea to bury it at least a little bit so that it doesn’t accidentally get deleted.

For Windows, open Windows Explorer, enter %APPDATA% in the address bar and then delete the tasque folder.  Then open a command prompt and enter:

mklink -j tasque path_to_tasque_folder_in_dropbox

In Linux, enter:

rm -rf ~/.config/tasque
ln -h ~/Dropbox/tasque ~/.config/tasque

Since this setup is directly accessing the same sqlite file, it’s probably a good idea to close Tasque after use and don’t let multiple instances on different machines try to access the file at the same time. There is undoubtedly a cleaner way to do this which involves rsync and cron but in the interests of brevity, this solution works.

Bonus: Edit the categories

Tasque doesn’t offer a way to change the categories from the defaults which it ships with which is kindof weak. Fortunately, adding, removing and editing these categories is just a database edit away. Install the open source SQLite Database Browser from here or use apt-get to install sqlitebrowser on Ubuntu. Spin it up, open the file sqlitedatabase.db that should now be appearing in Dropbox for your, switch to the Browse tab and edit the Categories table. Save your work when complete and you are ready to go!