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
I also use
org-mode for tracking my exercise routines, which is something I
want to write about in the future as I integrate it with beeminder to keep me on
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
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
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
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.