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Record what you are doing SIMPLY from the command line

Project description

This is a command-line tool for tracking what you’re doing as simply as possible. It’s for people who just want to describe what’s going on and move on without messing with a ‘system’.

Currently it’s in a raw, early stage. If you keep a file named ~/.now.txt for any other purpose, don’t use this.


now eating lunch
now napping

These commands append lines to ~/.now.txt, prefixed with timestamps.

If you want to use a different file instead of ~/.now.txt, create a file called ~/.nowrc with content like the following (where ~/bar is the name of the file you want to have written):


Give an absolute path. A relative path will generate an error.


  • Switches should not be required in normal operation.
  • The default action is to write the given message with a timestamp.
  • We don’t write to multiple different files. Just one file.
  • Messages are not parsed; they have no syntax, and no reserved words.
  • Messages have no imposed inter-relationships.
  • Always write with UTF-8 encoding.
  • Always write the same line-based format.
  • The line format should be both obvious to humans and easily machine-parseable (e.g, with regex).
  • Times are always given in UTC, with largest unit first (e.g. year-month-day).
  • Times are never tracked below the duration of 1 second.
  • now doesn’t get involved in analyzing or rendering the data it produces.

If you are interested in a fancier tool (written in Ruby and writing a customizable TaskPaper format), take a look at Doing.

Project details

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