So, what's a long-time ViM user doing with an Emacs session running all the time? Using org-mode of course.
First a little bit of a problem statement: I forget everything. I've tried lots of different ways to solve the problem. I started with writing a TODO list at the beginning of each day. For a while I succeeded in using a Palm Pilot to keep track of everything. Next was a Google Calendar. For stuff that didn't fit in the calendar I tried to keep a personal wiki. Each method ended up in failure because it was cumbersome. Let me be clear, to me cumbersome means requires more work than typing on a keyboard.
I was pretty excited when I heard about org-mode. Look at the slogan: Your Life in Plain Text. How could that not be good? Not being a Saint in the Church of Emacs it took me a little longer to get comfortable with org-mode, but it was worth it. I'm sure my org-mode use hardly scratches the surface of what's possible, but it's been enough to keep me organized for the past year.
Here's what it took to get started. I created a directory called
~/notes and added the following to my Emacs startup files:
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.org$" . org-mode)) (global-set-key "\C-cl" 'org-store-link) (global-set-key "\C-ca" 'org-agenda) (global-set-key "\C-cb" 'org-iswitchb) (setq org-log-done t) (setq org-log-repeat "time") (add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'turn-on-auto-fill) (setq org-directory "~/notes") (setq org-agenda-files (file-expand-wildcards "~/notes/*.org"))
Whenever I want to record something I open up a relevant
~/notes and add entries like this:
* Chores ** Empty garbages ** Mow lawn
It's just an outline, with the number of leading
determining the level of each entry.
The only keys I really use frequently are:
C-c C-t: transition states (make this a TODO or mark it done)
C-c C-s: schedule this entry
C-c C-d: set a deadline for this entry
Tab: fold (show/hide children of this entry)
C-c a a: show the agenda for the current week
org-mode is far more customizable, but for me, that's enough. I'm
especially pleased at how easy it is just to start logging things that
happen in a meeting or adding something that I just remembered needing
to do around the house. There's almost no friction. And everything
about the entry lives in the text file. Then, with a few key presses
C-c a a) I know what my next week looks like.