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Re: Considering Using Org Mode, But Question First: Recurring To-Do's an

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: Considering Using Org Mode, But Question First: Recurring To-Do's and Custom Agenda Views
Date: Sun, 06 Dec 2009 11:15:34 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Nocebic Meme <address@hidden> writes:

> I'm thinking of moving my organizational system needs over into org
> mode, but I have a question first.
> Let say I have a recurring to-do, such as 'daily exercise'
> In org mode right now it would look like this:
> * TODO daily exercise  :offline:
>    DEADLINE: <2009-12-03 Thu .+1d>
> But here's the problem: if I pull up an agenda view with my deadlines
> for this week, daily exercise shows up every day.  Ideally, I'd like
> to only see TODO items that I can actually do something about right
> now.  While I can start work on a presentation that's due tomorrow, I
> can't start tomorrow's exercise today, so I don't want to see it.
> Is this something org mode can overcome?

Org mode has a lot of power and is very customizable, so my answer would
be yes.

What your saying is very similar to some of the principals underlying
the popular GTD approach (Getting Things Done) and there are a number of
pages out there which discuss/outline how people have configured Org
mode to support things like GTD. 

One of the basic ideas (at least as I understand it!) underlying GTD is
having your todo items grouped in souch a way that you can pull up an
agenda which only lists the items which are of current relevance based
on where you are or what you are doing. 

One way of doing this is to use tags. For example, you might tag each
todo item (or branch, file etc - very flexible) with tags such as HOME,
OFFICE', 'PHONE', etc. Youc an then very easily define a custom agenda
view which only shows items that are not completed and which also match
a specific tag, one of which may be GYM or EXERCISE or HEALTH etc. . So,
if your at home/work and find you have some spare time to deal with some
of those phone calls you need to do, you pull up the agenda view that
shows todo items tagged with phone. If your at work, you pull up the one
tagged with work todo items etc.

My only advice would be to start off simple. Don't design something
complex and comprehensive to start with. Start simple and add things
once you see a need for them. I've seen a few fail with org mode because
they started with something that was over engineered and became a burden
rather than an asset. Start using it in as vanilla way as possible and
then tweak it as your needs and familiarity of the system increase. 

Note also that tags are not the only solution. Org mode is very powerful
and has lots of possible options. As you get to know it and experiment
with it, you will see which option suits you best. This may make it seem
harder at first, but in the end, you get a system that works the way you
like rather than a system that forces you to change how you naturally
like to work to suit how it was designed. 



tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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