Everdo User Manual / Help / Documentation


Basic Features

Advanced Features


Inline Commands
Everdo Feature Ideas

Keyboard Shortcuts

Everdo relies heavily on keyboard shortcuts to achieve fast and low-friction user experience.

Item Creation

key action
i Create an Inbox item
n Create New item in the current view
p Create a Project
b Create a noteBook

Navigation and Quick Editing

key action
j select next item
down select next item
k select previous item
up select previous item
enter open item editor
alt + enter open corresponding project
f toggle focus selected item
space toggle complete selected item
d toggle due date for selected item
x move item to trash

Sidebar Navigation

key action
1 Inbox
2 Next
0 Trash


key action
Shift + 0 All Areas
Shift + 1 Area 1
Shift+0 Unassigned items

Misc Shortcuts

key action
h Open Help
t Open Tag manager
s or / Search all items (non-archived, non-deleted)

Save / Cancel Conventions

  • “Escape” cancels changes and closes dialogs instantly without asking questions
  • “Enter” or “Ctrl+Enter” saves and closes the current editor/dialog

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Inline Commands

Inline commands allow to modify item’s properties simply by editing it’s title:

Commands can be applied when:

  • creating a new item
  • editing an existing item

You can also quickly activate command entry mode by pressing : on the keyboard.

To apply an inline command, type it at the end of the item’s title and press Save or “Enter”.

You can combine multiple commands. For example, set focus, high energy and due date would be:

:f :e high :d

Once applied, the commands are removed from the title.

Available Commands

Here’s a full list of all commands supported in the current app version.

command example
move to next :n
move to someday/maybe :m
move to scheduled and set start date :s
set start date to tomorrow :s
set start date to n days in the future :s 5
:s 5d
set specific start date :s May 5
:s 5 May
:s 5 May 2018
focus item :f
remove focus :f none
set time in minutes :t 10m
:t 10
set time in hours :t 1h
remove time estimate :t none
set energy to High :e h
:e high
set energy to Medium :e m
:e med
set energy to Low :e l
:e low
remove energy estimate :e none
set due date for Today :d
set due date n days in the future/past :d +5
:d 5
:d -1
set specific due date :d May 5
:d 5 May
:d 5 May 2018

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How far can Keyboard commands go?
How to do a repeating task with repeating due



To search items you can use the search textbox at the top of Everdo window:

search box

By default, search works across all items that are:

  • not archived
  • not in trash

The following item properties are matched against the search query:

  • title
  • note/description

Search Shortcuts

  • To quickly initiate search: press s or /, then type your query
  • To cancel search: press esc

Advanced Search Options

You can change the scope of search by specifying a search operator at the beginning of your query:

search operator example

scope of search search query
archived items in:archive

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Everdo offers several ways get your data out of the app for analysis, reporting, backup or other reasons.

  • Copy as Text
  • CSV Export
  • JSON Export
  • Direct database access

Copy as Text

This feature is useful to quickly get the contexts of the current view/list in a human-readable plain text format:

[ ] Try using "Export as CSV"
[ ] Try using "Export as JSON"

[x](Apr 2)  Use "Copy as Text"

To make the export :

  1. Click “Copy as Text” button in the filter bar
  2. Paste into to a text editor

JSON Export

JSON export allows to get the complete data in a machine-friendly format well suited for further automated processing.


See this topic for more detail regarding the data schema.

CSV Export

This feature allows to export all Everdo data in a standard format readable by Excel and other spreadsheet programs.


Direct Database Access

:warning: Always use a copy, not the actual Everdo db file. Never modify the database file directly. It’s very easy to change data in such a way that will lead to Everdo crashing.

All the Everdo data is stored in a single sqlite database file, located in the Everdo home directory:

  • on Linux: ~/.config/everdo/db
  • on OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/everdo/db
  • on Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Everdo\db

You can copy the database file and use the copy to extract and analyze your data.

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[Beta] Encrypted Sync Service (ESS)

Encrypted Sync Service is the easiest way to sync your Everdo data between your devices.

NOTE: This functionality is in Beta

How it works

ESS sync works similarly to the network-based sync. The differences are:

  • You don’t host the server yourself, which makes configuration easier and you don’t have to rely on a specific physical network for it to work smoothly.
  • All text data transmitted for sync purposes gets client-side encrypted. The sync server never receives or stores clear text.

Each of your devices needs to have the same encryption passphrase set up to be able to work with encrypted data.

Before you begin

  1. It’s highly recommended that you backup your Everdo database. Backing up is easy and is a good practice, especially when using beta functionality.
  2. Make sure Everdo version is at least 1.2.0 on your computers and 0.76.2 on Android devices.

Step 1: Create ESS Account

Open Everdo on your computer and go to Settings (Ctrl+,). Open “Sync” tab select “Encrypted Sync”, then “Get Sync Account”.

Fill in the sign-up form that opens in your browser:
Sync Sign Up

You will receive a confirmation email with a link to activate the account. Once activated, you’ll see your subscription status displayed as “Active” on the web page:
Sync Subscription Status

Step 2: Setup Encrypted Sync on Desktop

:exclamation: Important: at the end of setting up a device, don’t forget to click the Push button to ensure all existing items and tags from that device get added to ESS. Otherwise syncing may be incomplete, resulting in missing tags, projects and so on.

Use the ESS account you created in Step 1 to sign in on your computer:

Sync Sign In

Once signed in, a random 16-word passphrase will be generated for you to serve as an encryption key (see the image below). You can view the passphrase as text or QR code. It’s also possible to generate a new one. You don’t need to remember or even store this passphrase - you only need to transfer it to your other devices.

If you would like to set your own passphrase, or transfer a passphrase from another device, you may edit the text field manually. If you choose to generate your own passphrase outside of Everdo, make sure that it contains 16 random English words from a large dictionary.

Sync Passpharse

You should now see the sync status updating at the bottom of the settings window.

:exclamation: Important: now you need to click the Push button to ensure all existing items and tags from that device get added to ESS. Otherwise syncing may be incomplete, resulting in missing tags, projects and so on.

Sync Push

Now press “Apply” to save the configuration and you are done.

Step 3: Android App and Other Computers

Once you have one computer configured, the rest is easy. To setup other computers follow the same instructions as in Step 2, only this time use the existing ESS account and encryption key instead of creating new ones.

To setup an Android device, go to Everdo Settings on the phone and update the Sync Settings accordingly. You’ll need to sign in and specify the encryption key, same as you did on Desktop. When it comes to entering the encryption key, it might be easier to scan the QR code from the computer instead of entering the text manually. Don’t worry, you only need to do this once.

After you’ve specified all the sync settings, go back to the app and swipe down to trigger sync and ensure it’s working. Once you see sync working, you can enable auto-sync in Settings.

Making sure the same encryption key is used on all devices

As mentioned before, each of your devices should be set up with the exact same encryption key.
Otherwise they would not understand each other’s data and sync wouldn’t work.
To make sure this requirement is met, ESS is capable of detecting when different devices are using different keys.
In such scenario ESS will refuse to sync the device who’s key doesn’t match. This will be reflected as a warning in the sync settings dialog.


Once I start using ESS, can I go back to network sync?

Yes. It’s just a matter of re-configuring your devices.

Which data gets encrypted and how?

The titles and descriptions of items and tags are encrypted with AES256-CBC.
A 16-word passphrase generated on your computer is used as the encryption key. The passphrase is stored on each synced device in order to work with the encrypted data (but not on ESS server).
Each string gets encrypted separately for every sync attempt and gets it’s own IV.

This is what an action’s title looks like when encrypted: 1.EoCd6AP5LeGP937S3Mi31g==.kFdPOGCP7e+Z8sAl4wcesADJY54TQULqmmUETq2QWHY=

Is my data also stored in an encrypted form on my devices?

No, the data on you devices is still in clear text. It’s only encrypted prior to being sent to ESS. Doesn’t make sense to store encrypted data on your own device since the key is stored in the same place anyway.

What happens if I lose the encryption key?

The encryption key is stored in a text file in the same directory as the database. If you lose it somehow, it’s not a huge problem, since the data is still in the clear on each of your devices. In this case you can simply generate a new key, update all devices to use it, then use the “Force Push” option to tell ESS to accept the new key, despite the mismatch.

I’m getting the “Key Mismatch” error

This means the device your are currently trying to sync uses a different encryption key compared to the one seen by ESS previously. You need to set the encryption keys to be exactly the same on all devices.

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Participate in Encryption Sync Service closed test

Backing Up Everdo Database

Sqlite file backup (recommended)

The database file is located at the following location depending on your platform:

  • on Linux: ~/.config/everdo/db
  • on MacOS: ~/Library/Application Support/everdo/db
  • on Windows: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Everdo\db

To make a backup, copy the db file to another location. To restore a backup, replace the db file and restart Everdo.

JSON Export Backup

Alternatively, you could make a JSON export from within Everdo. Restore by importing the file. This way of backing up keeps your data safe, but it doesn’t preserve sync metadata.

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Scheduling, Repeating Actions, Due Dates

There are two ways to schedule an action in Everdo:

  • Set a start date (defer)
  • Make repeating


Set Start Date / Defer Action

Setting a start date is meant to defer an action or a project, “hiding” it until a specific date. Once the start date is set, the item gets moved to Scheduled until the specified date comes. Once the start date arrives, Everdo automatically moves the action/project to Next and makes it focused (starred).

Repeating Actions

The other scheduling option is to make an action repeating. This works a bit differently. Once an action is made Repeating, it gets moved to Scheduled, same as when setting a start date:

But once the time comes to repeat the action, it gets copied to Next (not moved). The original action stays in Scheduled, unchanged. In other words, the scheduled item serves as a template for further repeating clones.

Once a clone action is made, you can modify/complete/delete it, which will not affect the original (template) action.
To stop the action from repeating, you’ll need to remove or archive the template scheduled action.

Here’s a picture to illustrate how the action shown above got copied to Next and focused automatically. Notice the difference in the appearance (icons) between the template and the clone:

A new clone action gets created every time according to the schedule specified in the original template action.

Due Dates (Deadlines)

To avoid confusion, please note that the concept of a due date in Everdo is completely separate from Scheduling/Repeating. In other words, you can have a Next action with or without a due date, or you can have a Scheduled action with or without a due date. You can even assign a due date to an item still in Inbox.

So what does it mean that an action has a due date? In Everdo it means that when the date comes, the action will automatically be Focused (starred) with no way to manually unfocus. The goal is to draw your attention and make the due date difficult to miss:


The picture shows two focused actions, one of which has a due date set for today. This makes the action stand out, even in the Focus view.

To set/change a due date, you can use the button at the bottom of the item editor:

Misc Notes

  • Both Actions and Projects can have a start date
  • Only Actions can be made Repeating
  • You can quickly set start date and due date via inline commands

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Questions to switch app


Tags: Labels, Areas, Contacts, Contexts

Each item in Everdo can be assigned a set of tags.

There are three basic types of tags, each serving a different purpose:

  • Label - the most basic type, can be used to filter items in the current view
  • Area - similar to Label, but can also work as a global application-level filter
  • Contact - can be assigned to items on the Waiting list to specify the person you are waiting for

Using Labels

You can use labels to “mark” your actions and projects in a way that makes it easier for you to find relevant work later. Some examples of using labels:

  • priority labels (“p1”, “p2”, “p3”)
  • work type labels (“writing”, “coding”, “chores”, “call”, etc)
  • contextual labels ("@store", “@computer”, “@review”)

When coming up with labels, make sure they are actually useful for you as filters later. Otherwise you’ll just spend time labeling everything for no benefit.

Using Areas

Areas are most useful as a way to separate your different areas of focus or areas of expertise. Once you select a global area filter at the top of Everdo window, you will only see the items related to that area. This will help keep you GTD lists relevant and manageable:


You can transform an existing Label into an Area. Open the tag management window by pressing T, find the tag you would like to transform, then change it’s type to Area. As soon as you do this, the Area will be added to the area selector menu.

Context Tags

If you name any tag so that it starts with “@”, The tag will also appear in the Contexts section of the navigation pane. This will make it more convenient to view the associated items and let you drag-and-drop items “into” the contexts.

Any type of tag can be made a context by adding the “@” at the beginning - so for example you can have an Area tag that also appear in Contexts.

Misc Notes

  • Project actions inherit the tags assigned to their parent project
  • To rename/delete tags, press T
  • To change a tag’s color, right-click on the tag anywhere in the app
  • The only way to create a new tag is to assign it to an Item (you can’t create a tag that’s not assigned to anything)
  • Deleting a tag will remove it from all items (both active and archived) with no way to undelete

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You can filter items in the current view by various properties:

  • time
  • energy
  • tag assigned
  • due date

All chosen filters get combined with logical AND, meaning that by selecting a set of filters you are reducing the set of visible items to the ones that satisfy every filter in the set

Filtering by tags

It’s possible to filter the current view by any number of tags which appear in the filter bar:

To include items with a certain tag, left-click that tag in the filter bar. To exclude items with a certain tag, right-click that tag. For multiple selection hold Ctrl.

The tag filters get combined by logical AND for example if you have selected tag1, tag2 and tag3 then you will get only the items which satisfy all three sub-filters.

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