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Tracking Tasks with Getting Things Gnome (GTG)

Why use Getting Things Gnome?

Getting Things Gnome (-GTG for short) is an application for keeping track of your outstanding tasks, deliverables and deadlines: think of it as a basic personal organiser.

Getting Things Gnome is an alternative to using Tomboy. The two applications are very similar to use, but Getting Things Gnome is easier to install under Fedora and other Linux distros, whereas Ubuntu ships with Tomboy pre-installed. As a result, if you run Ubuntu, you will normally stick with Tomboy but if you use other distros, then you will probably plump for GTG.

Installing Getting Things Gnome

Getting Things Gnome (GTG) can be easily installed from the command line in Fedora using a single line:

sudo yum install gtg

For example:

$ sudo yum install gtg

Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package gtg.noarch 0:0.2.4-5.fc15 will be installed
--> Processing Dependency: python-configobj for package: gtg-0.2.4-5.fc15.noarch
--> Running transaction check
---> Package python-configobj.noarch 0:4.7.2-3.fc15 will be installed
--> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package                 Arch          Version              Repository     Size
 gtg                     noarch        0.2.4-5.fc15         fedora        595 k
Installing for dependencies:
 python-configobj        noarch        4.7.2-3.fc15         fedora        116 k

Transaction Summary
Install       2 Package(s)

Total download size: 712 k
Installed size: 3.0 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
Setting up and reading Presto delta metadata
Processing delta metadata
Package(s) data still to download: 712 k
(1/2): gtg-0.2.4-5.fc15.noarch.rpm                       | 595 kB     00:00     
(2/2): python-configobj-4.7.2-3.fc15.noarch.rpm          | 116 kB     00:00     
Total                                           595 kB/s | 712 kB     00:01     
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
  Installing : python-configobj-4.7.2-3.fc15.noarch                         1/2 
  Installing : gtg-0.2.4-5.fc15.noarch                                      2/2 

  gtg.noarch 0:0.2.4-5.fc15                                                     

Dependency Installed:
  python-configobj.noarch 0:4.7.2-3.fc15                                        


Note: see the GTG website for details on how to install GTG under other Linux distros

Using Getting Things Gnome to manage your Tasks

You can invoke GTG in Fedora by searching for the string "gett" in the Activities area:

The GTG icon in Fedora

The main GTG window will open up, displaying an example set of tasks, giving help on various GTG topics:

The GTG main window

To create a new task, click on the "New Task" icon. A new dialogue box opens up:

New task window in GTG

Add in the task details and set any start/due date by clicking on the up arrow to the right of the date field and clicking the desired date in the pop-up calendar that will display:

Assigning a due date in GTG

At this point, you can also insert a tag, to bind tasks of a similar type together, by clicking on the "Insert Tag" icon:

Inserting a tag in GTG

An "@" sign will be inserted in the text in yellow: type in a descriptive name (-here we have used "linuceum") for the tag followed by the ENTER key:

Naming a tag in GTG

You can also insert sub-tasks (-i.e. components of the main task) by clicking on the "Insert Sub Task" icon:

Insert Sub Task Icon in GTG

You can also insert sub-tasks (-i.e. components of the main task) by clicking on the "Insert Sub Task" icon. In the example below, we have inserted four sub-tasks:

Adding sub-tasks in GTG

When you have set up your task/sub tasks to your liking, simply click on the "x" icon in the top right of the "new task" dialogue to save your changes:

Closing the task window in GTG

Back in the main window, you can expand the main task to see any sub-tasks underneath it by clicking on the arrow to the left of the task:

Expanding/Collapsing sub-tasks in the GTG main window

If you double-click any of the tasks - or sub tasks - you can update them as desired. In the example below, we are adding some extra comment/description to a sub-task:

Updating sub-tasks in GTG

If you right-click any of the tasks - or sub tasks - you can choose any action to apply to that task. In the example below, we are marking the sub-task as having been completed:

Completing a sub-task in GTG

If you assigned a tag to one or more tasks/sub-tasks, you can display all the active tags by selecting:

View → Tags Sidebar

Adding sub-tasks in GTG

This will open up a new pane to the left, listing all the available tags. If you click on any of the tag names, the tasks displayed in the right pane will only show those tasks/sub-tasks linked to that tag (-use the "All Tasks" to display all tasks again):

Adding sub-tasks in GTG

To make sure that you keep track of your deadlines, you can enable GTG to auto-start when you logon. You can do this by selecting:

Edit → Preferences → "Plug Ins" tab

Notification of tasks in GTG

When you have finished your updates, you can quit GTG by selecting:

Tasks → Quit

Adding sub-tasks in GTG

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