Manage Notes and Lists With Sublime Text

There are a lot of free plugins created by the (awesome!) community to extend the capabilities of Sublime Text, to being more than just a code editor. In this post, I would like to show you a tip that I found really useful.

When building website, most of the times, things may not work as expected. These bugs and errors will pop up and I will make a note to address these errors later on. This will help minimize back and forth between what I am working on and what I need to pay extra attention to.

But like any other coder, I don’t want to open another app just to jot down these errors. Fotunately, there is a plugin that allows us to do so within Sublime Text, called Plain Task.

Plain Task

After installing the plugin, you can create a new file, and save it as .todo format (or .todolist, .tasks, or .taskpaper). This will highlight the new file in yellow, and we can begin taking notes and tasks on the file.


To add Headings or Titles, simply end the line with a colon as shown below. The colon marks the line as the title or note heading.


You can add a new todo list by hitting the Command + Enter in Mac or Ctrl + Enter in Windows. These key combinations will add a checkbox, which are common with todo lists. Hit the keys again to create a new "thing to do".

list checkbox

To check the list off (it’s done!), you can hit Command + D — or in Windows, Ctrl + D. You can also hit Alt + C to mark it as Cancelled.

list done

Adding a note is like writing plain text, simply write what you want to jot down.


Adding Todo Icons

Currently our .todo file is displayed in a plain-white, unknown-type blank paper icon, as shown below.

unknown icon

But we can change this to the one that comes with PlainTask, to give it a more unique identity. First, we need to copy the icon that is stored in the icons folder of the PlainTasks package into the Sublime Text application using this command line.

cp ~/Library/Application\ Support/Sublime\ Text\ 2/Packages/PlainTasks/icons/TODO.icns /Applications/Sublime\ Text\

Then run the following command to open the Info.plist in Sublime Text.

open -a Sublime\ Text\ 2 /Applications/Sublime\ Text\

And the following lines within the array to register the icon.


Rebuild the Info.plist with the following command line.

/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -f -r /Applications/Sublime\ Text\

And there you have it. Your new .todo file now has a new face.

new icon


That’s it, now you can take notes and add todo lists without having to install or open additional applications within Sublime Text. We hope that you find this small tip useful. And for further reference, you can head over to its official repository at Github.

More With Sublime Text

For more things you can do with Sublime Text, check out: