Now that the Tasker guide is on hiatus, I can finally get back to creating things in Tasker for my own use. Ironically, the first thing I sat down and did would have fit right into the last part of the guide, but since I came up with it after the fact, I’m giving it its own story.

A while ago I gave up on the app that got me using Tasker to begin with, the todo list app Astrid, because I had gotten to the point where I could make my own system. This system was explained in detail in example 2 in part 3 of the guide, and from what I hear there are people out there actually using a similar system now – which is great.

What I wanted to do was to add a way to easily add to the todo list from my other devices, specifically my computer. I then realized how utterly simple that would be to set up with AutoRemote. As explained in part 6 of the guide, AutoRemote can split a message into parameters and a command if the message contains the =:= “command activation splitter.” Basically, any words separated by a space before =:= turns into a separate parameter, while everything after the =:= becomes the command. My todo list system needs a item title and a list tag (to decide which list it goes in), so the following message is all that’s needed:

todo tag=:=item title

Todo is a static word that needs to be there to trigger this specific profile. In Tasker, I created a new profile with the Autoremote context, then set the message filter to “todo.” AutoRemote does create a %arpar1 with “todo” in it, but that’s not needed.

%param2 on the other hand will be the tag, either shopping, home, or morning. In the task tied to the context above I simply copied what’s in the save button in the todo scene over to a separate task, and then replaced all mentions of %todotag, which are used in If conditions in the scene. Finally, %arcomm becomes the command, which is everything after =:= in the message. This is the entry title, like “bananas,” “wake up,” or “vacuum the floor.” In the task, it replaced all mentions of %todotitle, which is used in the text field written to the text files.

Since this only needs to write the files, not update the scene and whatnot, the entire task is four actions. One Write File for each tag, and a Say action to confirm that the item has been saved, filtered by an If condition for %Home matching 1, i.e. it will only run the Say if I’m home.

What this now allows me to do is use Tasker/AutoRemote on another device or the web interface to add items to my todo list. If I e.g. send the message “todo home=:=go inside,” it adds “go inside” to the home list, which triggers when I get home from, well, not being home. The exceptionally poor quality video below shows this in action:

Stuff like this kind of makes me want to make my own calendar system as well. You simply don’t get the same level of access with a third party system, even if it’s prettier and all that.