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[Emacs-orgmode] org-mode workflow

From: Scott Otterson
Subject: [Emacs-orgmode] org-mode workflow
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 12:42:08 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird 1.5 (Windows/20051201)

From: Austin Frank <address@hidden>

1) Do you find it to be more convenient to have one file per topic (research.org, personal.org, etc), or one directory per topic with more specific files within it (research/project1.org, personal/finances.org)?

Separate directories. I've only used org-mode for a couple of weeks so maybe I'll change my mind. But so far, separate directories have worked best, partly because I have everything else organized in directories, and partly because some of my outlines are documentation that I check into CVS -- my colleagues probably don't care about next week's dinner plans.

However, I sometimes use agenda mode to tie the dates and TODO's in all of my orgfiles into a single view.

2) Within an org file, do you find it more effective to maintain one tree for tasks and other trees for notes, or do you mix notes and tasks within the same trees?

I keep them together. For me, the fact that they're all in the same spot is one of the biggest org-mode selling points -- when I'm using org-mode to think, the TODO's and dates occur to me at the same time as the logical content; it's nice to just put them right there and move on with a minimum of fuss. Having a pure TODO list or a calendar is useful, though: For me, an agenda view or a sparse tree does the job.

3) If you use remember with org, what role does it play in your work flow? When do you find yourself reaching for a remember note instead of using an org link or editing an org file directly?

I use it to mark places in source code or documentation. For example, when I need to change unfamiliar code, I'll read through it, hitting "C-c l" whenever I see an important function, variable declaration, bug, whatever. Then, before I change anything, I organize all those remembered locations into an outline with "C-C C-l". Having them all in one place helps me to think about the big picture of the changes I'm contemplating, especially when I can mix them in with web page links, bibliography references, and TODO's. I also like the fact that, a week later, when I've forgotten everything, I can still retrieve my source code browsing tracks.

OK, I'm usually not quite that methodical, but I experimented with this approach on one difficult problem, and I found it worthwhile.

This brings to mind a couple of things I'd really like to see in org mode:

1.) a special link type for latex bibfile references. Maybe clicking on the link could pop up a paper's author and title, with another RETURN key hit bringing you to the full reference in the bib file. Something like that...

2.) a way to link to emails in Thunderbird's IMAP cache. This is probably so hard that it is science fiction.

4) Does anyone use timeclock.el with org? Have you found other ways to track time allocation using built-in org functions?


5) What's the one trick you're most pleased to have discovered, or the one feature that changed your routine most once you began to use it?

Before I started using orgmode, I was already making occasional plain text outlines, but as they rapidly expanded, they became too unwieldy. It was always possible to search them, of course, but the search results were still overwhelming -- it was too hard to see at a glance how one thing fit in relation to another.

Org-mode's fast outline collapsing and moving commands made outlines much easier, both to understand and to edit (which for me is part of understanding).


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