Markdown Tasks in Vscode

November 8, 2022
3 minute read
dendron software

In this post I want to share how I configure Visual Studio Code to support my note-taking and handling of task items within them.

Since quite some time I use Dendron to collect ideas, topics to remember and as a journal. Taking notes during the day while working, in meetings and during conversations with others plays an important role. More often than not this means I need to take note of tasks I need to process later in my Todotxt for task management.

Also I try to plan my week by defining what the three to four items are I want to achieve in a given week and then break this down into tasks per day.

Dendron provides Tasks management capabilities which I haven’t tried yet. Right now my needs are simpler so I use the mark-down checkboxes slightly extended.

- [ ] an open task
- [!] an important open task
- [X] a finished task
- [-] an obsolete task

I use the obsolete task notion for those topics I planned for a day or week but didn’t complete. I don’t forward them but merely copy them. I want to get an idea during my weekly review how good my planning has been.

To get an overview over all these task items scattered within my notes I use the Todo Tree extension with the following features:

I configured the following settings for Todo-Tree:

 "todo-tree.general.statusBar": "tags",
  "todo-tree.general.tags": [
    "[ ]",
  "todo-tree.highlights.defaultHighlight": {
    "type": "tag",
    "gutterIcon": true,
    "icon": "arrow-right"
  "todo-tree.highlights.useColourScheme": true,
  "todo-tree.highlights.backgroundColourScheme": [
  "todo-tree.highlights.foregroundColourScheme": [
  "todo-tree.highlights.customHighlight": {
    "[-]": {
      "type": "text"

The majority of these settings is self-explaining but it took me a while to understand and configure the highlighting:

In total this gives this appearance in the editor which I quite like:

Besides Todo-Tree I use Markdown Checkbox related to markdown and tasks . The main use is that closing a task will strike it through and add the closing date to it. Not strictly needed but nice eye candy.

These are the non-default settings I use

  "markdown-checkbox.typeOfBulletPoint": "-",
  "markdown-checkbox.showStatusBarItem": false,

since I write bullet lists in this way and Todo-Tree already shows the number of checkboxes.

This leads to this display of done tasks:

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