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[Orgmode] Re: Effort Estimates

From: Bernt Hansen
Subject: [Orgmode] Re: Effort Estimates
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 21:32:04 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

R C <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi, I am new to using org-mode. I have read the section on effort
> estimates, but I am not quite clear on the implementation. I am
> particularly interested in using org-mode to compare estimated times
> to clocked times for tasks, and in getting a summary of the estimated
> work effort for each day in agenda view. I would appreciate it if
> anyone using org-mode for these purposes would be willing to provide
> specifics of their implementation.  Thanks.  Recif

The following article on the mailing list is what got me started with
column view.  I use it all the time now.


Since then Carsten has added a clock summary to the table so I can
quickly get a summary of the tasks, estimated times, and time spent on
the project.

I clock everything.

I use the same column view in all of my org files.  I've set this
globally in my .emacs as

,----[ .emacs ]
| (setq org-global-properties '(("Effort_ALL" . "0 0:10 0:30 1:00 2:00 3:00 
4:00 5:00 6:00 7:00 8:00 16:00 24:00 32:00 40:00 60:00 80:00 120:00")))
| (setq org-columns-default-format "%40ITEM(Task) %17Effort(Estimated 
Effort){:} %CLOCKSUM")

This lets me quickly enter effort values for a subtree.  Put the cursor
on a task, C-c C-x C-c to enter column mode, move the cursor to the
effort column, and enter effort values with S-right, S-left, or e and
some value.  This creates :PROPERTY: drawers on the fly if required to
store the effort amounts.

I use column view to look at and compare effort amounts with actual time
spent.  If I need to save the report permanently I insert a column
report with  C-u C-c C-x r RET

I also use the clock report in the agenda to get a summary for what I've
spent time on today.  C-c a a R.  Okay that's a little white lie.
I don't use this key combination anymore because I have it turned on by
default so every time my agenda displays the clock report is displayed.

,----[ .emacs ]
| (setq org-agenda-start-with-clockreport-mode t)

I manually stop and start my clock.  I have the following setting to
support that mode of operation:

,----[ .emacs ]
| (setq org-clock-out-when-done nil)

This means I can mark a task DONE and the clock keeps going.  With
recent changes I can also refile the task with C-c C-w and the clock
moves with it which is a great feature.  This helps a lot when I
accidentally move a task to a DONE todo keyword by mistake and I want to
put it back.  My clock just keeps running.

Hopefully some of this helps.  Feel free to ask questions if any of it
is confusing.  I find the best way to try something out is to create a
throw-away org file /tmp and play with the features there.  When I'm
comfortable with the way things work I add this workflow to my regular
org files.

Interacting with org seems to be a life-long endeavour for me - I keep
tuning things (yes I have an "* ONGOING Org Mode Tuning" task :) which
I'm currently clocking while writing up this email.

Thanks again for the wonderful tool that is org-mode Carsten and
everyone else on the list that has helped to make org-mode what it is

Best regards,

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