A few days ago, someone in /r/emacs asked the following question:

Hi! I am getting started with org and wanted to ask you why do you use it and how did org changed your life/workflow.

Answering it made me realize just how much of my daily workflow uses org-mode. Even more interesting was how much I use it for non-task related work. This is an expanded version of my original answer.

Tracking my diet, weight, and workout routines

This is something I wrote about in July. I've used org-mode to track my diet for years; the combination of properties and inline tables makes it extremely flexible.

I also use org-mode for tracking my exercise routines. This is integrated with beeminder to keep me on track.

Keeping on top of recurring tasks

I use org-habits for tracking recurring tasks and habits that I want to create. It integrates with org-agenda and shows a progress bar of days I have completed it.

All of my habits are also tied to beeminder goals (via beeminder.el) to give me some additional incentive.

A single habit entry looks like this:

* TODO Weekly review
  SCHEDULED: <2020-08-28 Fri .+7d>
  :PROPERTIES:
  :beeminder: weekly-review
  :STYLE:     habit
  :beeminder-skip-deadlines: true
  :END:

Marking the task as completed sends a datapoint to beeminder, and because the task is a habit the TODO remains open for the next date. I use the :beeminder-skip-deadlines: property to prevent habit deadlines from clogging up my agenda.

Keeping work and personal notes

I've been using zetteldeft to create and organize my notes for a couple of months. I was using deft before, so there wasn't much of a learning curve. I really like how the search narrows things as I type, and linking notes together makes it easier to keep things organized.

I'm not quite as organized as some other systems I've seen, but for the amount of notes I have (~150) it works quite well.

The full setup deserves an entire post of its own.

My full setup is detailed here: "Keeping notes with zetteldeft".

Keeping track of important dates

I use org-anniversary and a single file called dates.org to store birthdays and anniversaries.

An entry in my dates.org looks like this:

* Anniversaries
  :PROPERTIES:
  :CATEGORY: Important Dates
  :END:

%%(org-anniversary 2020  6 16) Gingersnap's %d adoptaversary

Unlike a scheduled TODO item, these dates show up in the agenda with the correct anniversary or birthday number. So in 2021 this entry would show as Gingersnap's 1 adoptaversary.

Planning out projects and organizing my day

The combination of plaintext for tasks and the dynamic agenda are extremely powerful for organizing projects. The agenda shows everything I have scheduled for the current week, and I'll usually narrow it down to the current day to get a better view.

This is another thing that deserves its own post.

Writing my personal blog

I use org-mode's html exporter to convert posts to html. I wrote about this in "From WordPress to Jekyll", but that process is a little outdated.

My current system involves storing posts in git, and then building the html + site on the server whenever content is pushed to it. I should probably write a post about this one too.