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From: "Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide" <arne_bab@web.de>
To: "Sébastien Gendre" <seb@k-7.ch>
Cc: emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
Subject: Re: How do you manage complex project with Org-mode
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2022 07:43:15 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87fso2awqa.fsf@web.de> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <87tuci9zp6.fsf@k-7.ch>

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Hello Seb,

It sounds like org-mode can be a great fit.

Sébastien Gendre <seb@k-7.ch> writes:
> But, as a student, I regularly have big and important projects to do for
> the school. The kind of project who need several days to be done, with
> deadlines too soon, and if you fail one them the consequences can be
> disastrous. And generally, I have to many of these project in the same
> time and not enough time to do all the work. So, I also need to follow
> the progress of each project to choose which is sufficiently advanced to
> be stop for the benefit of another less advanced project.

Do I understand it right that what you need is to track the time
required to reach milestones, not following the *progress*? So following
progress seems like it would take more mental bandwidth than needed.

You could have one org-mode task (headline) per milestone, with a
DEADLINE (org-deadline), and then SCHEDULE (org-schedule) appointments.

To track how much time you will still need, you can use org-set-effort.
I did that at work for a while to train to get better at estimating. By
having the effort in a clocktable I could see progress *when needed*.
Hitting R in the org-agenda shows the clockreport-mode and you can see
the Effort in the agenda by setting
(org-agenda-clockreport-parameter-plist (quote (:link t :maxlevel 2
:properties ("Effort")))). For a while I had the clocktable active by

You can also add that to the column-mode (org-columns) to get a quick
overview for a file (leave with org-columns-quit). Customize:
   "%25ITEM %TODO %3PRIORITY %TAGS %17Effort(Estimated Effort){:} %CLOCKSUM")

> And I don't know how to manage this kind of projects with Org-mode. How
> to do it, without failing a 6 days project because I spent to much time
> on something else and I have only 3 days left with 3 half-day important
> appointment I cannot cancel. I can't risk failing a single one of these
> project by trying. So, when I am in a period with a lot of these
> projects, I stop using Org-mode and concentrate on doing these project
> as fast as I can. And because I often have this kind of project, I spend
> most of the year without being able to use Org-mode.

I found that org-mode is the only organization tool for which using the
tool actually reduces the time I need for organization. That works by
taking notes in org-mode, too, and keeping it simple.

What I do:

** Custom starting point: agenda-with-kanban
  A function to show the agenda it besides the Kanban table. I start
  each day and after each larger break by hitting F12. It shows me the
  agenda and entry points into my work. This enables me to stay focussed.

** One planning file
  I have a single file for all my tasks. That keeps working
  surprisingly long. Once a year or so it needs some cleanup to become
  faster again.

** Kanban Table at the top
  I have a kanban table. It shows as most important information the
  tasks I am doing right now. If I am doing more than three work-tasks
  at the same time, it’s warning sign that I’m becoming inefficient.
  With this I start every day in org-mode by clicking on the link of the
  project from the kanban table to get to its notes (which I also track
  in org-mode). See

** Capture tasks for Projects
  Projects have as many tasks as I need to track. At work they are
  usually Stories (3-5 days). Nowadays I create new tasks by using
  org-capture templates with one template per larger project and one for
  bugs, but I used to just use two templates (which might be a
  better fit for you):
  - (i) task to start immediately and
  - (l) task to start later

** Setup

(with-eval-after-load 'org
  (setq org-agenda-custom-commands
        '(("o" "Agenda and TODOs"
           ((agenda) ; nil ((org-agenda-compact-blocks nil)(org-agenda-block-separator ?-)(org-agenda-overriding-header "")))
            (tags-todo "-notodo-TERMIN" ((org-agenda-block-separator ?-)))
	        (tags "KANBAN" ((org-agenda-block-separator ?-)
                            (org-agenda-compact-blocks nil)
                            (org-agenda-overriding-header ""))))))))
  (defun my/org-agenda-show-kanban ()
    (search-forward ":KANBAN:")
    (recenter-top-bottom 0)))

(defun agenda-and-todo ()
  (org-agenda nil "o")
;;      desktop systemsettings shortcuts: map f12 to
;;        emacsclient -e '(progn (show-frame)(agenda-and-todo))'
(global-set-key (kbd "<f12>") 'agenda-and-todo)

> So, if you have any suggestion on how to manage, in Org-mode, projects
> with:
> * Lot of work to do (many days)
> * Short deadline (not enough time)

This is something to fix. Also outside org. Always feeling like having
to catch-up can burn you out otherwise.

As an analogy: Even if you have to sprint sometimes, what you really
want to do is to take a brisk walk, so you can still talk to your fellow
students and think about the best way to address the tasks — do things
well thought-out.

> * High importance (disastrous consequences in my future in case of fail)
> * Many of them in the same time
> * Progression need to be followed to chose where to sacrifice time to
>   limit the damages

Ideally have a plan beforehand which things to drop when time becomes
tight. For example tag them or such. These are optional, otherwise you
could not drop them when times becomes tight.

(also I have a nicer clocktable layout so level2-entries look good:

;; nicer org clocktable layout
(defun my-org-clocktable-indent-string (level)
  (if (= level 1)
    (let ((str "└"))
      (while (> level 2)
        (setq level (1- level)
              str (concat str "──")))
      (concat str "─> "))))
(advice-add 'org-clocktable-indent-string :override #'my-org-clocktable-indent-string)

Here’s the relevant part of my org-agenda setup:

(use-package org-agenda
  :defer 8
  ;; provide desktop alerts, so I can have appointments in org-mode, too
  (alert-default-style 'libnotify)
  (appt-disp-window-function 'alert-for-appt)
  (org-agenda-include-diary t)
  (appt-delete-window-function (lambda ()))
  (org-agenda-clockreport-parameter-plist (quote (:link t :maxlevel 2 :properties ("Effort"))))
   "%25ITEM %TODO %3PRIORITY %TAGS %17Effort(Estimated Effort){:} %CLOCKSUM")
   '(("Effort_ALL" . "0:30 1:00 2:00 3:00 6:00 8:00 16:00 40:00")))
  (org-agenda-start-with-clockreport-mode t)
  ;; Rebuild the reminders everytime the agenda is displayed
  (add-hook 'org-agenda-finalize-hook (lambda () (org-agenda-to-appt t)))
  ;; Run once when Emacs starts
  (org-agenda-to-appt t)
  ;; Activate appointments so we get notifications
  (appt-activate t)
  (defun appt-reparse-diary-file ()
    "force reparsing the diary file"
    (appt-check t))
  (add-to-list 'midnight-hook 'appt-reparse-diary-file))

Best wishes,
Unpolitisch sein
heißt politisch sein,
ohne es zu merken.

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  parent reply	other threads:[~2022-03-01  9:45 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 21+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-03-01  1:43 Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-01  4:03 ` Matt
2022-03-02 19:44   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-01  6:43 ` Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide [this message]
2022-03-02 20:00   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-01  7:12 ` Tim Cross
2022-03-02 20:33   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-02 21:55     ` Tim Cross
2022-03-20  5:16       ` Ihor Radchenko
2022-03-20 21:24         ` Tim Cross
2022-03-21  9:25           ` Ihor Radchenko
2022-03-20  5:06     ` Ihor Radchenko
2022-03-01 19:26 ` Antonio Carlos Padoan Junior
2022-03-02 20:53   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-01 21:06 ` Milan Zamazal
2022-03-02 20:58   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-02 16:29 ` Quiliro Ordóñez
2022-03-02 21:05   ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-01  4:38 Eric Abrahamsen
2022-03-02 21:26 ` Sébastien Gendre
2022-03-02 23:35   ` Eric Abrahamsen

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