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    One thing I’d be curious to know from others is how do not get overwhelmed by your own systems. I have a lot of difficulty organising things and frequently forget where I put things.

    Lately this has led to a workflow where I have two text files. One where I put what I ought to be working on today, and a second one I euphemistically call “the scroll” which is just a long file I append notes to as they come. But I like the idea of something where I schedule my day and keep track of next tasks. But I worry about committing to a system where tasks get buried across files under some subheading that org-mode might be hiding from me at that moment.

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      This is exactly what I do, but just with orgmode. todo.org and journal.org (and archive.org for things coming out of todo.org). I sometimes try to schedule things with org-agenda, but inevitably something will take more time than I expect and I get off schedule. So, I really only use org-agenda for true deadlines. It’s really quite simple. As you said, if the organization system itself gets too complicated, then it breaks down.

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        Thanks! I think I’ll try to turn the scroll into a proper org file and slowly migrate into something that uses org-agena

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          Something that’s really important is good org-capture templates.

          Here’s the line in my config where I define my org-capture-templates: https://github.com/wraithm/emacs.d/blob/dc49776342df4b75c732d8e27647c751d1043a48/lisp/init-org.el#L46

          I’ve actually since moved on to doom emacs with slightly different capture templates, but that’s a good example of org capture templates that work well for the system you described.

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            How well do org-capture templates handle large notes? Like I cut-paste large chunks of text into my scroll. Whether it be snippets of websites, emails, or conversations.

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              Yeah, it can handle arbitrarily long text afaict. The capture template just opens a buffer with the node that’s gonna get inserted into your org file’s tree. It sounds like this is exactly what you’re looking for. The capture template is just for giving you automation around how the snippet that you want inserted into your scroll gets formatted and categorized.

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                it does handle large text pretty well. org-capture is for quick short term storage. I move these eventually to other org files based on context. (using org-refile)

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          Use org-mode with org-agenda. Here is one of many guides showing a workflow using org-agenda, but the point is that if you spread your stuff across many org-mode files, org-agenda will be your “dashboard” into those many files so you don’t have to go hunt through files and subheadings to find todos and so on. Instead it presents the data, scattered across many files, in a single, coherent view.

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            So one issue I had is that there is my file where I keep all my tasks, and then the file which where the work for the task that needs to get done. How should that be stitched up in org-mode? Do I put the TODO and Schedules in my org file that has the tasks and link from that line to the file where I do the work?

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              What do you mean by “and then the file which where the work for the task that needs to get done”? Is that file another org-mode file which describes the work in detail, or is it like a file in a software project or something like that? If it’s the former, I suggest putting the todo in there. If it’s the latter, I usually put a “org-mode link” to the file (and location in file) in the todo.

              I have a “todo.org” file where I have todo’s that doesn’t fit in other places, but I also have todos in a lot of other places, and then I keep tap on them all with org-agenda.

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                I meant the latter. Like I have a todo around expanding out a section of a paper.

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                  I’m still not sure I follow. Can you show me an example of what the two files can look like?

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                    Sure suppose there is a file work.tex:

                    Lorem Ipsum

                    And I have a file tasks.org

                    * Do grocery shopping
                    * Flesh out Background section of paper
                    * Water plants

                    You would have me modify tasks.org to have:

                    * TODO Do grocery shopping
                    * TODO Flesh out Background section of [[/dir/to/paper/work.tex][paper]]
                    SCHEDULED: <2020-05-27 Wed>
                    * TODO Water plants

                    Does that sound right?

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                      I think in that case, where the link is that “broad”, I’d replace the TODO-item with:

                      * TODO [[/dir-to-paper-work.tex][Flesh out background-section]]

                      the goal being to quickly go to where the actual work of the TODO-item should actually be done. Had there been more steps, I’d maybe have a TODO with subtodos that link to different parts. And in the event that the TODO-item expanded so as to justify it’s own org-mode file, I’d mode it all there. If you just make sure to tell org-agenda about where to look for your org-mode files, it will collect all the items from all the files, so you can have as many or as little as you need.

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                        Thanks! That clarifies a bunch.

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          I’ve followed this guide (most of it) as my bible, since March 2015 (https://gnusosa.net/log/2015-03-15-alife-of-todos.html), and let me tell you that, oh boy, I can’t emphasizes how great it is once you get used to it. Specially, the capture capabilities, and the archival preferences. This guide covers real life situations, and translates them into functions of org-mode If you want to nail down how much time you spend in meetings and interruptions, this guide has examples and functions for it. Want to punch-in, and know how much time you spend working per day? this guide has a section for it. This guide in a way also composes all the scarce tools of org-mode into a one view form. The sad part of this document, is that it’s so long and sparse, that it alienates individuals that want to read everything before trying it out. If there was a mini version or a tutorial with links to each chapter of the sparse guide, it will help it to gain more traction.

          I also wish there were more guides like Norang’s. It has been my personal experience that a lot of newcomers are looking for a standard workflow that they can lean on to start with, but they end up recreating the world from their newcomer perspective, thus leading to frustration, and ultimately moving to another tool. Those who stick around with org-mode, create their own system that half works most of the time, in turn this pays given that people become aware of the internals of org-mode, but not every user desires to take that long route.

          Stories with similar links:

          1. Org Mode - Organize Your Life In Plain Text! via apy 4 years ago | 25 points | 19 comments