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etm(1) Unix user's manual etm(1)


etm - manage events and tasks using simple text files


etm [logging level] [path] [?] [acmsv]


With no arguments, etm will use settings from the configuration file ~/.etm/etmtk.cfg, set logging level 3 (warn) and open the GUI.

if the first argument is an integer not less than 1 (debug) and not greater than 5 (critical), then etm will use that logging level and remove the argument.

If the first (remaining) argument is the path to a directory which contains a file named etm.cfg, then etm will use that configuration file and remove the argument.

If the first (remaining) argument is one of the commands listed below, then etm will execute the remaining arguments without opening the GUI.

a ARG display the agenda view using ARG, if given, as a filter.
k ARG display the keywords view using ARG, if given, as a filter.
n ARGS Create a new item using the remaining arguments
as the item specification.
m INT display a report using the remaining argument, which must be a
positive integer, to display a report using the corresponding
entry from the file given by report_specifications in etmtk.cfg.
Use ? m to display the numbered list of entries from this file.
p ARG display the path view using ARG, if given, as a filter.
r ARGS display a report using the remaining arguments as the
report specification.
s ARG display the schedule view using ARG, if given, as a filter.
t ARG display the tags view using ARG, if given, as a filter.
v display information about etm and the operating system.
? ARGS display (this) command line help information if ARGS = '' or,
if ARGS = X where X is one of the above commands, then display
details about command X. 'X ?' is equivalent to '? X'.



Group items by year, month and day together

etm r c ddd, MMM d yyyy

Fri, Apr 1 2011
items for April 1
Sat, Apr 2 2011
items for April 2


Data items begin with a data type character and continue on one or more lines either until the end of the file is reached or another line is found that begins with a type character. Data type characters and the associated data types:

Action: a record of time and/or money spent.
Event: happens on a particular date and time.
Occasion: happens on a particular date, e.g., a holiday, anniversary or birthday.
Note: a record of some useful information.
Task: something that needs to be done.
Delegated task: a task assigned to someone else.
Task group: a group of related tasks, some of which may be prerequisites for others.
Inbasket: quick entry to be edited later when time permits.
Someday maybe: remember but don't show in the common views.
Hidden: remember but hide from all etm views except path view.
Defaults: set default options for subsequent entries in the same data file.

The beginning data type character for each item is followed by the item summary and then, perhaps, by one or more '@key value' option pairs. Examples:

A sales meeting (an event) a week from today from 9:00am until 10:00am with a 5 minute early warning alert:

* sales meeting @s +7 9a @e 1h @a 5
Prepare a report (a task) for the meeting beginning 3 days early:

- prepare report @s +7 @b 3
A 35 minute period (an action) spent working on the report yesterday:

~ report preparation @s -1 @e 35
Get a haircut (a task) on the 24th of the current month and then [r]epeatedly at (d)aily [i]ntervals of 14 days and, [o]n completion, (r)estart from the completion date:

- get haircut @s 24 @r d &i 14 @o r
Do the jobs in the following task group in 'q' order to finish the dog house project:

+ dog house
@j pickup lumber and paint &q 1
@j cut pieces &q 2
@j assemble &q 3
@j paint &q 4
Payday (an occassion) on the last week day of each month. The '&s' part of the entry extracts the last date which is both a weekday and falls within the last three days of the month.):

^ payday @s 1/1 @r m &w (MO, TU, WE, TH, FR) &m (-1, -2, -3) &s -1
Take a prescribed medication daily (a reminder) for the next three days at 10am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm and trigger the default alert zero minutes before each event:

* take Rx @s +0 @r d &h 10, 14, 18, 22 &u +4 @a 0
Presidential election day (an occassion) every four years on the first Tuesday after a Monday in November:

^ Presidential Election Day @s 2012-11-06
@r y &i 4 &M 11 &m range(2,9) &w TU
Join the etm discussion group (a task). Because of the @g (goto) link, pressing Ctrl-G when the details of this item are displayed in the gui would open the link using the system default application:

- join the etm discussion group


Extensive documentation can be found in the folder:


Please report bugs to the etm discussion group:!forum/eventandtaskmanager


Daniel A Graham <>


Copyright (c) 2009-2014 [Daniel Graham]. All rights reserved.

31 March 2017 version 3.2.30