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friends

Spend time with the people you care about. Introvert-tested. Extrovert-approved.

NOTE: Participation is encouraged! Make issues, ask questions, submit pull requests (even if it's your first time contributing to open-sourceβ€”you'll get lots of help), and give feedback!

Table of Contents


Overview

friends is a command-line program that helps you to keep track of your relationships with the people you care about.

friends gives you:

  • More organization around staying in touch with friends and family.
  • A way to track the ebbs and flows of your relationships over time.
  • Suggestions for who to call or hang out with when you have free time, whether it's fifteen minutes or an entire weekend.
  • A low-cost way to record and remember big moments in your life.

Its philosophy emphasizes:

  • Simplicityβ€”it should be quick and easy to use.
  • Transparencyβ€”all data is stored in a human-readable Markdown file. No proprietary formats here! And in addition to being open-source, friends is very much open to new ideas. Contribute!
  • Intelligenceβ€”specify dates with English phrases like "yesterday." Specify friends with their first names, even when you're friends with many *Joanne*s. friends will figure it out.

Installation

$ gem install friends

Easy, huh?

Usage

Core concepts

friends is structured around several different types of things:

  • Activities: The things you do. Each activity has a date associated with it. Activities may optionally contain any number of friends, locations, and tags.
  • Friends: The people you do activities with. Each friend has a name and, optionally, one or several nicknames. (Examples: John, Grace Hopper)
  • Locations: The places in which activities happen. (Examples: Paris, Marie's Diner)
  • Tags: A way to categorize your activities with tags of your choosing. Tags may contain colons and hyphens inside them. (Examples: @exercise:running, @school, @science:indoors:agronomy-with-hydroponics)
  • Notes: Any additional information you want to record about a friend or location. (Example: John and Jane got engaged.)

The friends.md Markdown file that stores all of your data contains:

  • an alphabetical list of all locations:
### Locations:
- Atlantis
- Marie's Diner
- Paris
  • an alphabetical list of all friends and their nicknames and locations:
### Friends:
- George Washington Carver
- Grace Hopper (a.k.a. The Admiral a.k.a. Amazing Grace) [Paris]
- Marie Curie [Atlantis]
  • an ordered list of all activities:
### Activities:
- 2018-11-01: **Grace Hopper** and I went to _Marie's Diner_. George had to cancel at the last minute.
- 2018-01-04: Got lunch with **Grace Hopper** and **George Washington Carver**.
- 2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year in _Paris_ with **Marie Curie**.
- 2017-11-15: Talked to **George Washington Carver** on the phone for an hour.
  • and an ordered list of all notes:
### Notes:
- 2018-06-15: **Grace Hopper** found out she's getting a big Naval Academy building named after her. @navy
- 2017-06-06: **Marie Curie** just got accepted into a PhD program in _Paris_. @school

See the example friends.md file for more information.

Global flags

friends supports several global flags that can be used on any command when specified before the name of the command, like: friends [flags] [command].

These flags are:

  • --colorless: Disable output colorization and other effects.
  • --debug: Debug error messages with a full backtrace.
  • --filename: Set the location of the friends file to use (default: ./friends.md).
$ friends --filename ./test/tmp/friends.md clean
File cleaned: "./test/tmp/friends.md"
  • --quiet: Quiet output messages.
$ friends --quiet add activity Went rollerskating with George.
$ # No output!

In addition, these flags may be used without any command:

  • --help: Show the help menu. This is equivalent to friends help. Help menus are available for all levels of commands:
$ friends --help
$ friends list --help
$ friends list activities --help
  • --version: Show the friends program version.

Syncing across multiple machines

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to use friends across all of your devices? Hooray, you can! Just put the friends.md file in your Dropbox/Box Sync/Google Drive/whatever folder and use the --filename flag. You can even set up a Bash/Zsh/whatever alias to do this for you, like so:

alias friends="friends --filename '~/Dropbox/friends.md'"

Setting reminders

Though friends has no built-in reminder functionality, it's easy to use a system like cron (Mac or Linux) or Task Scheduler (Windows) to set various reminders.

For example, on a Mac, the following crontab configuration results in every day at 9:00 p.m. a Terminal tab opening, printing "Time to journal!" and then launching an add activity prompt through friends:

0 21 * * * osascript -e 'activate application "Terminal"' &> /dev/null && osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal" to do script "clear && echo Time to journal! && friends add activity"' &> /dev/null

Here's another example (also for Mac) of using friends to suggest some people to hang out with every Saturday morning:

0 10 * * 6 osascript -e 'activate application "Terminal"' &> /dev/null && osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal" to do script "clear && echo Consider hanging out with one of these friends today: && friends suggest"' &> /dev/null

(If you use other tools, please share and we'll add to these examples!)

Command reference*

*Note that the command-line output is colored, which this README cannot show.

add activity

$ friends add activity Got lunch with Grace and George.
Activity added: "2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver."

friends will automatically figure out which "Grace" and "George" you're referring to, even if you're friends with lots of different Graces and Georges.

Nicknames will be used to match friends in activities, just like formal names:

$ friends add activity Invented debugging with The Admiral.
Activity added: "2017-01-06: Invented debugging with Grace Hopper."

You can also use the first initial of a last name instead of the whole thing. friends will figure out what to do with those pesky periods (if you include them) based on whether you're in the middle of a sentence or not:

$ friends add activity Got lunch with Earnest H and Earnest S. in the park. Man, I like Earnest H. but really love Earnest S.
Activity added: "2017-05-01: Got lunch with Earnest Hemingway and Earnest Shackleton in the park. Man, I like Earnest Hemingway but really love Earnest Shackleton."

And locations will be matched as well:

$ friends add activity Went swimming near atlantis with George.
Activity added: "2017-01-06: Went swimming near Atlantis with George Washington Carver."

Tags will be colored if they're provided (though this README can't display color so you'll just have to have faith here):

$ friends add activity The office softball team wins a game! @work @exercise:sports
Activity added: "2017-05-05: The office softball team wins a game! @work @exercise:sports"

You can of course specify a date for the activity:

$ friends add activity Yesterday: Celebrated the new year with Marie.
Activity added: "2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie."

Or get an interactive prompt by just typing friends add activity, with or without a date specified:

$ friends add activity 2018-11-01
2018-11-01: <type description here>

Natural-language dates work just fine:

$ friends add activity last Monday
2017-03-07: <type description here>

You can escape the names of friends you don't want friends to match with a backslash:

$ friends add activity "2018-11-01: Grace and I went to \Marie's Diner. \George had to cancel at the last minute."
Activity added: "2018-11-01: Grace Hopper and I went to Marie's Diner. George had to cancel at the last minute."

And if an activity contains friends or locations you haven't yet added, you can simply denote them with the signifiers found in the friends.md file (**s around friends, and _s around locations), and friends will automatically add the friends or locations that are missing:

$ friends add activity "2018-11-01: I got to meet **Oprah Winfrey** in _Chicago_ today."
Activity added: "2018-11-01: I got to meet Oprah Winfrey in Chicago today."
Friend added: "Oprah Winfrey"
Location added: "Chicago"

This is really handy for when you have an activity involving a friend or location that you can't remember if you've already added. Just use the signifiers and they'll be added if necessary!

add note

Notes can be added exactly like activities, either on one line:

$ friends add note Yesterday: Marie got accepted into a PhD program
Note added: "2017-12-31: Marie Curie got accepted into a PhD program"

Or with a prompt:

$ friends add note last Monday
2017-03-07: <type description here>

And just like with add activity, dates, friends, locations, nicknames, and tags will all be intelligently matched. In addition, as with add activity you can use the **/_ signifiers around friend and location names and they'll be added if necessary:

$ friends add note "2018-11-01: **Oprah Winfrey** grew up in _Chicago_."
Activity added: "2018-11-01: Oprah Winfrey grew up in Chicago."
Friend added: "Oprah Winfrey"
Location added: "Chicago"

This is really handy for when you have a note involving a friend or location that you can't remember if you've already added. Just use the signifiers and they'll be added if necessary!

add friend

$ friends add friend Grace Hopper
Friend added: "Grace Hopper"

add tag

$ friends add tag Grace Hopper science
Tag added to friend: "Grace Hopper @science"

add location

$ friends add location Atlantis
Location added: "Atlantis"

add nickname

$ friends add nickname "Grace Hopper" "The Admiral"
Nickname added: "Grace Hopper (a.k.a. The Admiral)
$ friends add nickname "Grace Hopper" "Amazing Grace"
Nickname added: "Grace Hopper (a.k.a. The Admiral a.k.a. Amazing Grace)"

clean

Reads and re-writes the friends.md file:

$ friends clean
File cleaned: "./friends.md"

This command is useful after manual editing of the file, for re-ordering its contents and adding any missing friends or locations that are found in activities or notes. Note that friends clean is automatically called after the editor in friends edit is closed.

edit

Allows you to manually edit the file:

$ friends edit
Opening "./friends.md" with "vim"

The file is opened with the command specified by the EDITOR environment variable, falling back to vim if it is not set:

$ export EDITOR='atom --wait'
$ friends edit
Opening "./friends.md" with "atom --wait"

Note that when setting your own EDITOR value, if you like to use an editor like Atom, VS Code, or Sublime Text, you should first make sure you have the command-line tool for your editor (atom, code, or subl) installed correctly so you can open your editor from the command line. Then, when setting EDITOR, make sure to use the --wait flag (as in the example above), which will allow friends to be able to run the clean command (see below).

After the editor has been closed, friends will automatically run the clean command to re-organize the file and add any friends or locations you've referenced in activities or notes that have not been added to the file. This means that, similar to the add activity and add note commands, you can add lines like:

- 2018-01-01: I just met **Oprah Winfrey** in _Chicago_!

And if that friend or location isn't already present it'll be added:

Friend added: "Oprah Winfrey"
Location added: "Chicago"
File cleaned: "./friends.md\"

graph

Graphs (in color!) your activities over time:

$ friends graph
Nov 2017 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ
Dec 2017 |β–ˆβ–ˆ
Jan 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

Or graph only activities with a certain friend:

$ friends graph --with George
Nov 2017 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|
Dec 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™|
Jan 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|

The dots represent the total activities that month, so you can get a feel for the proportion of activities with that friend vs. the total you've logged.

You can also graph a certain group of friends:

$ friends graph --with George --with Grace
Nov 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Dec 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™|
Jan 2018 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Feb 2018 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|

Or graph only activities with a certain tag:

$ friends graph --tagged food
Nov 2017 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|
Dec 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™|
Jan 2018 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|

Or with multiple tags:

$ friends graph --tagged @fun --tagged @work
Nov 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Dec 2017 |β–ˆβˆ™|
Jan 2018 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|

Or graph only activities in a certain location:

$ friends graph --in Paris
Nov 2017 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™|
Dec 2017 |βˆ™βˆ™|
Jan 2018 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|

Or graph only activities on or after a certain date:

$ friends graph --since 'January 1st 2018'
Jan 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ
Feb 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

Or graph only activities before or on a certain date:

$ friends graph --until 'January 1st 2018'
Nov 2017 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ
Dec 2017 |β–ˆβ–ˆ
Jan 2018 |β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆ

And you can use multiple of these flags together:

$ friends graph --in Paris --tagged food --with George --since 'Jan 2018'
Jan 2018 |βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|
Fen 2017 |β–ˆβˆ™βˆ™βˆ™βˆ™|

help

Displays a help menu. This is equivalent to friends --help.

$ friends help
NAME
    friends - Spend time with the people you care about. Introvert-tested. Extrovert-approved.

SYNOPSIS
    friends [global options] command [command options] [arguments...]

...

Help menus are available for all levels of commands:

$ friends help
$ friends help list
$ friends help list activities

list activities

Lists recent activities:

$ friends list activities
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food
2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie in New York City. @partying:ball-drop
2017-11-15: Talked to George Washington Carver on the phone for an hour.

You can adjust how many activities are shown:

$ friends list activities --limit 2
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food
2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie in New York City. @partying:ball-drop

Or only list the activities you did with a certain friend:

$ friends list activities --with George
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food
2017-11-15: Talked to George Washington Carver on the phone for an hour.

Or only filter activities done with a group of friends:

$ friends list activities --with George --with Grace
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food

Or filter your activities by location:

$ friends list activities --in "New York"
2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie in New York City. @partying:ball-drop

Or by tag:

$ friends list activities --tagged food
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food

Or use more than one tag:

$ friends list activities --tagged @fun --tagged @work
2018-07-04: Summer picnic with @work colleagues. @fun

Or by date:

$ friends list activities --since 'December 31st 2017'
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food
2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie in New York City. @partying:ball-drop
$ friends list activities --until 'December 31st 2017'
2017-12-31: Celebrated the new year with Marie Curie in New York City. @partying:ball-drop
2017-11-15: Talked to George Washington Carver on the phone for an hour.

And you can mix and match these options to your heart's content:

$ friends list activities --tagged food --with Grace --with George
2018-01-04: Got lunch with Grace Hopper and George Washington Carver. @food

list notes

You can list notes the same way you list activities:

$ friends list notes --tagged school --with Marie
2017-03-12: Marie Curie completed her PhD in record time. @school
2015-06-06: Marie Curie just got accepted into a PhD program in Paris. @school

list favorite friends

Lists your "favorite" friends (by total number of activities):

$ friends list favorite friends
Your favorite friends:
1. George Washington Carver (2 activities)
2. Grace Hopper             (1)
3. Marie Curie              (0)

You can specify a number of favorites to show:

$ friends list favorite friends --limit 2
Your favorite friends:
1. George Washington Carver (2 activities)
2. Grace Hopper             (1)

list favorite locations

Lists your "favorite" locations (by total number of activities):

$ friends list favorite locations
Your favorite locations:
1. Atlantis (2 activities)
2. Paris    (1)
3. London   (0)

You can specify a number of favorites to show:

$ friends list favorite locations --limit 2
Your favorite locations:
1. Atlantis (2 activities)
2. Paris    (1)

list friends

Lists all of your friends in alphabetical order:

$ friends list friends
George Washington Carver
Grace Hopper
Marie Curie

You can also include friend nicknames, locations, and tags:

$ friends list friends --verbose
George Washington Carver
Grace Hopper (a.k.a. The Admiral a.k.a. Amazing Grace) [Paris] @navy @science
Marie Curie [Atlantis] @science

You can filter your friends by location:

$ friends list friends --in Paris
Marie Curie

And you can also filter your friends by tag:

$ friends list friends --tagged science
Grace Hopper
Marie Curie

You can even use more than one tag to further narrow down the list:

$ friends list friends --tagged science --tagged navy
Grace Hopper

list tags

Lists all tags you've used, in alphabetical order:

$ friends list tags
@dancing
@food
@school
@swanky

You can limit this to only tags from activities:

$ friends list tags --from activities
@dancing
@food
@swanky

Or only tags from friends:

$ friends list tags --from friends
@school
@swanky

Or only tags from notes:

$ friends list tags --from notes
@navy
@school

Or only tags from two out of three:

$ friends list tags --from activities --from friends
@dancing
@food
@navy
@school
@swanky

list locations

Lists all of the locations you've added, in alphabetical order::

$ friends list locations
Atlantis
New York City
Paris

Advanced searching

Since friends is a command-line program, we can easily support more complex searching by piping the output of a list command through a command-line tool like grep.

For instance, to see all of the notes containing the string PhD:

$ friends list notes | grep PhD
2017-07-01: Marie Curie just got accepted into a PhD program.
2017-06-10: John Doe is finishing his PhD.
2013-06-10: John Doe is just starting his PhD.

And you can combine this with the normal filter options provided by friends, like this:

$ friends list notes --with John --since 'January 1st 2015' | grep PhD
2017-06-10: John Doe is finishing his PhD.

Note that grep has some handy flags, like --ignore-case/-i, and --color=always, to help customize your search:

$ friends list notes --with John --since 'January 1st 2015' | grep -i PhD
2017-06-10: John Doe is finishing his PhD.
2016-06-01: I think John Doe is hoping to finish his phD about a year from now.

These grep flags might be slightly different depending on which version of grep you have installed.

remove tag

Removes a specific tag from a friend:

$ friends remove tag Grace Hopper fun
Tag removed from friend: "Grace Hopper (a.k.a. Amazing Grace) @OtherTag"

remove nickname

Removes a specific nickname from a friend:

$ friends remove nickname "Grace Hopper" "The Admiral"
Nickname removed: "Grace Hopper (a.k.a. Amazing Grace)"

rename friend

$ friends rename friend "Grace Hopper" "Grace Brewster Murray Hopper"
Name changed: "Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (a.k.a. Amazing Grace)"

This will update that friend's name in all notes and activities.

rename location

$ friends rename location Paris "Paris, France"
Location renamed: "Paris, France"

This will update that location's name in all notes and activities.

set location

Sets a friend's location:

$ friends set location Marie Paris
Marie Curie's location set to: Paris

stats

Gives you your lifetime usage stats:

$ friends stats
Total activities: 4
Total friends: 3
Total locations: 3
Total notes: 4
Total tags: 5
Total time elapsed: 848 days

suggest

Gives you suggestions of up to three random friends to do something with, based on how often you've done things with them in the past:

$ friends suggest
Distant friend: Marie Curie
Moderate friend: Grace Hopper
Close friend: George Washington Carver

You can request suggestions of friends in a specific location:

$ friends suggest --in Paris
Distant friend: Marie Curie

update

Updates friends to the latest version on RubyGems:

$ friends update
Updated to friends 0.17

Other documentation

In case you're really interested, we have documentation on RubyDoc.

Contributing (it's encouraged!)

If you have an idea, make a GitHub issue! Suggestions are very very welcome, and usually are implemented very quickly. And if you'd like to do the implementing yourself, see the contributing guide.

A big big thanks to all of this project's lovely contributors:

Another way to contribute is to make a donation with any of these buttons:

Backers on Open Collective/badge.svg>) Sponsors on Open Collective/badge.svg>) Support via Patreon Donate via Liberapay Donate via PayPal Flattr this Donate bitcoin

πŸ‘† Donate with these buttons right here! πŸ‘†

Backers

Thank you to all backers! πŸ™ [Become a backer]

Sponsors

Support this project by becoming a sponsor. Your logo will show up here with a link to your website. [Become a sponsor]

Code of Conduct

Note that this project follows a Code of Conduct. If you're a polite, reasonable person you won't have any issues!

License

Friends is released under the MIT License.