org-mode snippetsΒΆ

I promised that I’d post some of the stuff from my .emacs file that makes my org-mode system work. Here we are.

There are some basic settings that I use on all major modes that I use in emacs. Basically, I want to attach the spell checker (the minor modes, flyspell-mode and auto-fill-mode). These lines do this:

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'turn-on-auto-fill)
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'flyspell-mode)

I also, attached ”.org” as the file extension to org-mode. This setting is good for this kind of thing:

(setq auto-mode-alist
(cons '("\\.org" . org-mode)auto-mode-alist))

The following are a list of basic org-mode related settings that I’ve found helpful. In some sequence, I keep org-mode files in the ~/org/ directory, with being my general catch-all file. I like my agenda views to include todos, even if they’re not date-specific (this is a great boon) I’ve included the diary in the agenda views for grins, though I’m not yet smart enough to really make the most of that one.

The odd-levels-only, and hide-leading-stars are aesthetic settings only, and can be changed/converted from at any point, but I like them

The org-todo-keywords setting allows you to specify alternate todo-statuses. I’ve found that this sorting is a useful and allows me to visually sort out things I need to write, versus chores and other more clerical tasks. The pipe seperates finished statuses from open statuses. I debated for a long time about weather “differed” should be “done” or “not done,” but decided that with “pending,” I was safe to use “differed” tasks for “not my problem any more” items.

(setq org-directory "~/org/")
(setq org-default-notes-file (concat org-directory "/"))
(setq org-agenda-include-all-todo t)
(setq org-agenda-include-diary t)
(setq org-hide-leading-stars t)
(setq org-odd-levels-only t)
(setq org-todo-keywords
      '((sequence "TODO"
                  "PENDING" "|"

The next bit, is something that I got from Jack. It creates an org-mode file with time-stamp headlines which you can use to create a journal file to record daily activities.

The first block sets up which file the journal should be in, and the second sets up entry. My main complaint with this is that I’m not very habitual about using it.

(defvar org-journal-file "~/org/"
   "Path to OrgMode journal file.")
(defvar org-journal-date-format "%Y-%m-%d"
   "Date format string for journal headings.")

(defun org-journal-entry ()
  "Create a new diary entry for today or append to an existing one."
  (switch-to-buffer (find-file org-journal-file))
  (let ((today (format-time-string org-journal-date-format)))
    (unless (org-goto-local-search-headings today nil t)
      ((lambda ()
         (insert today)
         (insert "\n\n  \n"))))
    (backward-char 2)
    (unless (= (current-column) 2)
      (insert "\n\n  "))))

The integration between remember-mode functionality and org-mode is one of those things that just makes org-mode amazing and awe inspiring. The sad part is that it takes some setup to make it work right and therefore doesn’t work straight out of the hook.

I’d explain the template syntax better if I understood it a bit better. I should look into that.

(require 'remember)
(setq remember-annotation-functions '(org-remember-annotation))
(setq remember-handler-functions '(org-remember-handler))
(add-hook 'remember-mode-hook 'org-remember-apply-template)

(setq org-remember-templates
      '(("todo" ?t "* TODO %?\n  %i\n  %a" "~/org/" "Tasks")
        ("notes" ?n "* %?\n  %i\n  %a" "~/org/" "Inbox and Notes")
        ("blog" ?b "* %U %?\n\n  %i\n  %a" "~/org/")
        ("technology" ?s "* %U %?\n\n  %i\n  %a" "~/org/")
        ("fiction" ?f "* %U %?\n\n  %i\n  %a" "~/org/"))

Finally, key bindings that make org-mode functionality accessible whenever I need it in emacs. I should do things to have raise emacsclient windows from other applications, but I’ll deal with that later. There aren’t that many, and I put org-mode stuff under control-c (C-c).

(global-set-key "\C-ca" 'org-agenda)
(global-set-key "\C-cr" 'org-remember)
(global-set-key "\C-cj" 'org-journal-entry)

And that’s it. If you use org-mode, what’s the killer snippet that I’ve forgotten? If you don’t use org-mode but are curious, what should I talk about next. If you’re still not clear what org-mode is, ask, as I should work on getting better at explaining.

Thanks for reading. Cheers!


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  • tychoish
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tychoish is a blog about software, science fiction, community, music, knitting, and economies with particular attention to their past and future histories. Produced in Brooklyn by tycho garen.