[colug-432] Presentation Proposal - Any interest in hearing how emacs's org-mode can organize your work in 2012?

Jon Miller jonebird at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 22:47:45 EST 2012

Looking for people's interest in a topic. I've spent probably 20+
hours over the holidays reading
and learning about emacs's org-mode[1] and developing a strategy to
finally and completely organize my
work. It's all still quite fresh in the mind and after spending this
much effort into learning and
planning my org files, I feel it would be a waste not to offer to
share with others.

Yes, it is squarely an emacs topic and wouldn't directly apply to our
vi/vim folks of the
crowd. That said, however, I've seen people try out emacs solely for
the purpose of checking out
org-mode. I have been using it for two years straight with only
scraping the surface of what it is
capable of until watching a presentation given by the current org-mode
maintainer[2]. After watching
that video and having extra time on the holidays, I devoted to
completely read through the manual
while developing my own personalized organization of my work.

What I am proposing to present is primarily two-fold: 1. Give an
adequate overview of org-mode and
what it is capable of and 2. Provide a suggested methodology in
organizing your own work using

Mini sales pitch on org-mode:
1. It's just text. Everything is just text but org-mode understand the
structure and provides
   sophisticated movement, re-arranging, reporting, tracking, and so on.
2. Great exporting features from html, LaTeX, DocBook, iCalendar,
Freemind, others.
   I use this when sharing my meeting/project notes with others at work.
3. Custom Views of your work (called Agendas) for getting a snapshot
on what needs attention/work.
4. Pretty nifty way to create and manage ascii tables. (Have to show
you to understand)
5. Nice way to create links to other portions of your org files, other
files, hyperlinks, etc.
   Doesn't sound cool but it quite handy if your files grow to 1000+
lines or more (like mine).
6. State tracking of items. States, Tags, Priorities are the main ways
for categorizing work.
7. Good support for datetime recognition. Set deadlines and indicate
when you plan to work on
   something or when was it recorded. Can also track how much time was
spent working on a particular
8. Quick capture of new tasks. Perhaps my favorite feature.
   Menu driven keystroke prompts me with a custom template to capture
that thought that just came to
   you that you need to capture and work on later but do not want to
distract you from what you're
   working on currently.

I'm going to stop there. It can honestly be daunting for the newcomer
but you don't have to take
advantage of each feature day 1 of using org-mode. Again, what I'm
proposing is a quick overview to
understand what is capable and perhaps suggest a way for you to
organize that work you'd like to get
done in 2012.

So, anybody interested in such a presentation?

-- Jon Miller

[1] http://orgmode.org/
[2] http://vimeo.com/30721952

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