Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

Shell Script for backpack todo lists

Updated on December 06, 2023
By Pete Freitag

I whipped up this shell script for adding items to your backpack todo list. I've tested this on Mac OSX 10.4 (Tiger) but it should work on any mac, and most unix operating systems if your using a bash shell.

Ok, to start create a bin directory inside your home directory, if you do not already have one, and make it executable.

mkdir ~/bin
chmod u+x ~/bin

Next create a file called todo, and use the following for the contents:


ADDY="[email protected]"
SUB="Subject: todo: $1"
echo $SUB | sendmail -f [email protected] $ADDY

Put the page email address in side the quotes in the ADDY variable. Replace [email protected] with your email address.

Now make sure your todo script is executable:

chmod u+x todo

And test it:

~/bin/todo things

Note that if you want to use spaces, or multiple words you need to put the todo item in quotes:

~/bin/todo "things to do"

Now you probably don't want to type the ~/bin/ part every time, so lets add ~/bin to your path. Start by editing a file called /etc/profile

sudo vi /etc/profile

Edit the PATH variable to include ~/bin.

Note this will add the bin directory to the system path for every user on the computer.

The line may look something like this when your done:

Side note: A better way to do this is by editing the ~/.bashrc files, but they don't appear to be enabled by default on Mac OS X.

Now you can just type todo "something to do" from anywhere inside your shell.

terminal shell backpack todo bash mac osx 37signals

Shell Script for backpack todo lists was first published on August 20, 2005.

If you like reading about terminal, shell, backpack, todo, bash, mac, osx, or 37signals then you might also like:

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not sure why you would want to do that?
by Pete Freitag on 08/20/2005 at 6:01:01 PM UTC
I think you can also put the path in ~/.profile if you don't want it to be system wide.
by jehiah on 08/20/2005 at 9:40:27 PM UTC
After some thought, I agree it would by handy to use this with a cron job. You could setup cron jobs for things like take out the trash, pay the bills, etc.

Jehiah, thanks on the ~/.profile I'll give that a try.
by Pete Freitag on 08/21/2005 at 8:02:39 PM UTC
[off topic]

was just searching around, and thought i'd drop a quick line and ask... you wouldnt happen to have some CF code for reading/parse'n an ATOM feed, would you?

for some reason when i output the "content" tag, it returns nothing (blank, nada, null), and i'm not quite sure why... *scratches head*

really appreciate any help or links :)
by forgetfoo on 08/25/2005 at 9:37:17 AM UTC
foo - search for: atom cfc two cfc's should come up, one by Roger B, and one by Raymond C.
by Pete Freitag on 08/27/2005 at 10:52:05 AM UTC
thanks pete!

/fires up google
by forgetfoo on 08/27/2005 at 11:26:51 AM UTC