Designing a Simple Task Tracking System

Taskdown is an ultra-lightweight rapid entry methodology for tracking, analyzing and focusing on tasks. Inspired by Markdown, Kanban and Bullet Journal's notation format, Taskdown synthesizes technology, simplicity and flexiblty into a holistic productivity system.


  • Technology driven (but barely)

  • Simple-Fast

  • Flexible

Technology driven

Taskdown uses a Markdown-like syntax that encourages rapid entry, readability and leverages all the advantages of text based editors like cut and paste and the ability to render in different formats.


All you need is a text editor. No pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, rulers or any other implements required. Taskdown is low friction and faster to edit than traditional pen-and-paper based systems.


Taskdown is, ultimately, an open-ended system of components for constructing a personalized task manager. It can be easily extended and adapted using the parts of the system you need and ignoring the parts you don't need.



- [ ] a thing to do


Mapped to Kanban




  • `taskdown`

  • `design`

  • `code`




  • (low priority)

  • (!!!)

  • (for `project x`)

Date Header

> ### date-time


  • > ### 07.11.20

  • > ### July

  • > ### Afternoon


## Section Title


  • ## Active Projects

  • ## Backlog

  • ## Weekly Tasks

Document Title

# Document Title


  • # Jim's Tasks

  • # July's Todos

  • # My React Project

Putting it all Together

How I implement taskdown composing the elements into a daily task tracker with a lightweight process.


  1. Projects

  2. Backlog (Task Pool, The Pool)

  3. Daily Tasks

Project Tags

A simple way to organize ongoing projects or groups of tasks. The big picture things I'm working on from a 10,000' view.


  • - `taskdown`

  • - `hideouspixels`

  • - `jimlears-web`


The backlog is a pool of future tasks that serve as reminders of what I eventually want to schedule and bang out.

Daily Tasks

The things I want to get done today.



Having a process that emphasizes intentionality creates habit and discipline, keeping my lists manageable and focused. A daily tempo lends itself to constant continuous, course correction which works well for me.

  1. Every morning I make a quick evaluation of my backlog and the previous day's tasks, moving what I need to punt to the backlog [<] or continue working on today [>] to their respective sections.

  2. I set up my task list for the day, with a date stamp, ordered by how I want to knock them out. I try to limit my list to 3-5 tasks so I focus on what matters most with a higher chance of completion.

  3. Throughout the day, I mark off completed tasks, add new tasks to the backlog or my task list, keeping my lists sorted and order.