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Chandler is a task-oriented information management tool. It can be used for:

  • Task/to-do lists
  • Calendar
  • Project management

There are two components: a Desktop and a Server. Both can be used as standalone components. A hosted version of the Server is available called Chandler Hub.


Project Management with Chandler

There is an emerging movement of folks who believe that traditional Project Management techniques (highly structured Gantt charts, etc.) should be replaced by One Big To Do List. Chandler is very good at supporting this style of project management.

The basic steps for using Chandler in this way are:

  • Set up a public collection on Chandler Hub.
  • Have members of your team install the Desktop (recommended, although you can work directly off of Hub) and subscribe to the collection.
  • Chandler does not support user assignment. Indicate assignment by including the initials of the assignee in the title. For example, "CD: Take out the trash."
  • If tasks have a deadline, stamp them appropriately.
  • Items without a deadline should be marked as Later. Every day, you should pick no more than three items per person and mark them as Now.
  • Check and update the list at least twice a day.


There are certain things that Chandler seems to do much better than other calendaring tool:

  • Better recurrence support. For example, moving or deleting a single instance of a recurring event.
  • FYI and tentative labels. Great for scheduling.

Server vs Desktop


  • no dashboard
  • no stars only view
  • UI not as cohesive; have to save entries for example. can't drag and drop calendary entries.
  • good for groups. fast. little overhead.


  • very good UI
  • offline usage
  • slow
  • rough integration with server (for setup; afterwards, pretty good)

Best Practices

If you're using both the Desktop and the Server, set your account Full Name in Desktop to your username on the Server. If you don't, and if you regularly use multiple desktops with Hub, you'll see your data attributed to two different authors -- your real full name and your Hub username.

There's no version control. You have the danger of losing data when you expose a public collection to the masses, or even from your own team members! One way to control this is to sync the public collection with a private collection, so that you can recover data that gets lost.

Syncing with other services

Collaboratory Tasks

You can view/edit tasks related to this collaboratory at our Chandler Hub collection. It's a good way to learn about Chandler and to see what we're up to.


The project was originally started by Mitch Kapor's nonprofit Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF). Its history is well-documented in Scott Rosenberg's book, Dreaming In Code.

Chandler participated in the first and last FLOSS Usability Sprints. Blue Oxen Associates principal, Eugene Eric Kim, joined the board of OSAF in October 2008.

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