Emacs enhancement for syncing org-mode tasks with Toodledlo
Emacs Lisp
Pull request Compare This branch is 64 commits ahead of sachac:master.



This package adds the ability to sync org-mode tasks with Toodledo, a powerful web-based todo list manager that welcomes 3rd party integrations. (See http://www.toodledo.com/)

This version of `org-toodledo' utilizes version 2.0 of the Toodledo API.

Synchronizing For The First Time

The first step in using org-toodledo is to initialize a file and synchronize tasks. Simply create a new file, change the mode to org-mode', then callorg-toodledo-initialize'. This will create a new heading called "TASKS" (by default) and will import all non-deleted tasks from Toodledo as sub-headings beneath "TASKS".

If you already have an existing list of tasks in org file, open the org file first. Move the cursor to the headling where you want imported tasks from Toodledo to be inserted into the buffer. Call `org-toodledo-initialize'. This will import all tasks from the server as well as pushing existing tasks in the org file back to the server.

Once an org-file has been initialized, the heading selected will be given a few Toodledo specific properties that are used to track the status of synchronization:

  :ToodledoLastSync: 1315343842
  :ToodledoLastEdit: 1315337478
  :ToodledoLastDelete: 1314972230
  :OrgToodledoVersion: 2.3

This is referred to as the 'base Toodledo entry'.

Synchronizing Tasks

The local org-file can be synchronized with the server at any time by calling `org-toodledo-sync'. When called, the following steps are performed:

  1. Tasks added to the server since the last sync are downloaded and inserted as sub-headings to the Toodledo base heading (has the `ToodledoLastSync' property)

  2. Tasks modified on the server are compared against the local copy. If the local copy was not modified since the last sync, the local copy is updated. If local copy was modified, the server copy is inserted after the local copy as a duplicate. The user must manually merge any changes

  3. Tasks deleted on the server are removed entirely from the local org file.

  4. Tasks modified locally are pushed to the server as edits.

  5. Tasks created and not yet prseent on the server are pushed as new tasks.

  6. Tasks marked for deletion are deleted from the server, and then purged from the local file.

Changes to tasks are automatically detected by computing a hash of the task fields. This hash is computed and saved as a property of the task on sync. When the next sync occurs, the hash value is compared and if it differs, the task is considered modified. This eliminates the need for the user to mark tasks as modified or remembere which tasks have changed -- it's all automatic!

Note that `org-toodledo-sync' scans the entire file for tasks, not just subheadings of the base entry.

Adding New Tasks

To add a new task on the server, just create a new headline anywhere in the org file and give the headline a TODO keyword. When ready, call `org-toodledo-sync' to push new tasks to the server.

Completing Tasks

Tasks can be completed in org by setting the TODO state to DONE.
This will mark the item completed. If tasks are marked completed on the server, they will be completed on sync.

Set the variable org-toodledo-archive-completed-tasks to =t= to automatically archive completed tasks.

Deleting Tasks

Tasks cannot simply be killed from the org-file like text if the tasks are known to the server since they will just come back the next time org-toodledo-sync' is called. Instead, they must be marked as deleted by callingorg-toodledo-mark-task-deleted'. Call this function from any point within the task. At the next sync, the task will be deleted from the server and then killed from the local file.

Note that it may not be necessary to delete tasks in this way. Instead complete the task and let Toodledo archive completed tasks.

Set the variable org-toodledo-archive-deleted-tasks to =t= to automatically archive deleted tasks.

Toodledo Fields

The table lists the possible Toodledo fields and how they are mapped to org-mode style tasks:

Toodledo Field Org-mode Comments
id Property :ToodledoID: If present, this task was previoiusly synced
title Heading Heading minus TODO state, priority and tags
status TODO state See `org-toodledo-status-to-org-map'
startdate SCHEDULED startdate/startime are GMT
starttime SCHEDULED
duedate DEADLINE duedate/duetime are GMT
duetime DEADLINE
completed CLOSED Timestamp when the task was marked completed
repeat Repeat interval
context Tag Context string "Work" becomes a tag :@Work:
folder Prop :ToodledoFolder: Only used if not using headings for folders, see below
goal Prop :ToodledoGoal:
priority Priority 3=>A, 2=>B, 1=>C, -1,0 => D
note Body Body of the task minus the properties
length Effort
parent Links tasks parent/child
tag Tag org-mode tags, note context is also a tag

TODO States

The TODO states from Toodledo are mapped to org-mode states via the `org-toodledo-status-to-org-map' alist. This can be customized to choose your own TODO states, but all 10 states from Toodledo should be mapped, even if only a subset are used in org-mode.

In order to cycle through all the states recognized by Toodledo, put a line like the following somewhere in your org file:



Toodledo 'Contexts' allow you to split tasks into contexts such as Work and Home. Contexts are mapped to org tags with the '@' keyword, :@Work: and :@Home:.

Currently only contexts already on the server are recognized. Setting the task context of :@Phone: when Phone is not a valid context will loose the context.


Sub-tasks are supported by Toodledo with a Pro account subscription.
When enabled, a 2-level task hierarchy is supported:

* TODO Write a best-selling novel
** DONE Make an outline
** WAITING Call Susan about the contract
** TODO Finish writing
** TODO Profit

The parent/child relationship is tracked dynamically at the time of sync, looking for the next heading up for each task, and if present and a task, link the task to the parent.

Bi-directional synchronization is fully supported.

If the account is not a Pro account, subtasks will still be synced to the server, but the parent/child relationship is not. This yields a flat list of tasks on the server. Note that the hierarchy in the org file is still maintained even though not on the server.

NOTE: A hierarchy of TODO items of more than 2 levels is not supported by the server. If 3 or more levels is present, all children will appear directly beneath the top-most TODO item:


* TODO Level 1 item
** WAITING Level 1.1 item
*** DONE Level 1.1.1 item
** DONE Level 1.2 item
*** DONE Level 1.2.1 item


* TODO Level 1 item
** WAITING Level 1.1 item
** DONE Level 1.1.1 item
** DONE Level 1.2 item
** DONE Level 1.2.1 item

Note that the hierarchy is preserved in the org-mode file, it just displays with the children flattened on the server.


Folders are supported in two modes based on the variable org-toodledo-folder-support-mode. If nil, basic mode is used and the folder associated with a task is stored by name in the 'ToodledoFolder' property.

If set to 'heading, the folders represent headings. In this mode, the folder is implicitly defined by moving up the outline tree to the first non-TODO item.

For example:

** TODO Non-folder tasks
* Folder 1
** TODO Task 1.1
** TODO Task 1.2
* Folder 2
** TODO Task 2.1
** TODO Task 2.2

All subtasks are assigned to the same folder. Moving a task from one folder to another will change the folder as well. The heading that represents the folder will get assigned a property 'ToodledoFolderID' that is the ID assigned by the server for this folder.

Since folder association is determined by hierarchy, the property 'ToodledoFolder' is no longer needed on a per task basis.

If you currently have an org-toodledo buffer with tasks and folders using basic mode (org-toodledo-folder-support-mode set to nil), you can use the function:

M-x org-toodledo-switch-folder-support-mode-to-headings

This will switch your setting over to 'heading and will automatically move around TODO subtrees according to their assigned folder. (This function has been tested, but I suggest you backup your work before running it just in case...)

Folder name changes are not yet handled.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Doesn't do lots of error trapping. Might be a good idea to version-control your Org file.

  • Verify handling of other tags that are not context

  • The body of a task is stored as the Toodledo note. May get confused by asterisks, so don't use any starting asterisks in your body text. (or anything that looks like an Org headline).

  • w3mexcerpt.el inlcudes things needed things from w3m (since w3m requires things which require things which require things which require an executable which is no longer readily available.). (sachac)

  • By default, save will ask to sync with Toodledo. This can behavior can be changed via `org-toodledo-sync-on-save'.

Known Issues

  • Attempting the following the change will fail:

      * Task 1                 * Task 1
      * Task 2       ==>       ** Task 2
      ** Task 3                ** Task 3

    The problem is that Task 2 is changed to a child before Task 3's parent is changed, so the server rejects it because you can't can't have a 3-level heirarchy.

Future Work

TODO Feature Requests: highest priority at top

  • access to toodledo via proxy would also be good for those inside proxy based firewalls. (stophlong)

  • Add a 'purge-completed-tasks' function -- once these tasks have been synced to the server, kill them locally (since they are backed up on toodledo). Alternatively, move them to an archive file. (cjwhite)

  • Option to restrict synchronization to just sync tasks under the the base Toodledo entry. (cjwhite)

  • Support tasks across all agenda files. (cjwhite)


  1. Required emacs packages:

    Note, if you see messages like "(lambda (field) ...) quoted with ' rather than with #'" related to http-post-simple, see this StackOverflow Question. It seems there are 5 places in http-post-simple.el that use ='(lambda...)= where just =(lambda...)= would be fine.

  2. Put this file in your load path, byte compile the file for best performance, see `byte-compile-file'.

  3. Put the following in your .emacs:

     (push "<path-to-this-file>" load-path)
     (require 'org-toodledo)
     (setq org-toodledo-userid "<toodledo-userid>")      << *NOT* your email!
     (setq org-toodledo-password "<toodled-password>")
     ;; Useful key bindings for org-mode
     (add-hook 'org-mode-hook
            (lambda ()
              (local-unset-key "\C-o")
              (local-set-key "\C-od" 'org-toodledo-mark-task-deleted)
              (local-set-key "\C-os" 'org-toodledo-sync)
     (add-hook 'org-agenda-mode-hook
            (lambda ()
              (local-unset-key "\C-o")
              (local-set-key "\C-od" 'org-toodledo-agenda-mark-task-deleted)
  4. Install 2 patches for url-http.el (these are written for 23.3, but may work for other versions, if not patch manually, as the diffs are not that complex).

    Note: This may not be necessary for Emacs 24.



    To install the patches: $ cd $emacs_install_dir/lisp/url $ patch < $path_to_patch/url-http.el.emacs-23.3.patch $ patch < $path_to_patch/url-http.el.emacs-23.3.patch2

    Then in emacs: M-x byte-compile-file $emacs_install_dir/lisp/url/url-http.el

    This patch seems to apply cleanly to 23.2 as well, but is not tested there.