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* using org-refile to sort research notes?
@ 2014-04-27 22:25 Jay Dixit
  2014-04-28  0:25 ` Alan L Tyree
                   ` (2 more replies)
  0 siblings, 3 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Jay Dixit @ 2014-04-27 22:25 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: org-mode

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Hello friendly org-mode community,

I'm using org-mode to research and write a nonfiction book. I have a large
amount of notes and quotes that I now need to sort into separate files.

I am creating separate org files, one for each chapter of my book—
chapter-1.org, chapter-2.org, etc.—with org headings in each one for every
topic/subsection.

I now want to categorize my notes, moving them from where they are—i.e. in
a set of long, unorganized org files with names like new-research.org and
more-research-and-notes.org—into the the chapter files.

1. Am I right in thinking that org-refile is the most efficient way to do
this?
2. What's the best way to do this? Should I add all of my chapter.org files
to the agenda using org-agenda-file-to-front? I ask because these are not
TODO headings, just headings with notes and quotes, so I'm not sure if
using org-agenda functionality is appropriate.
3. I am also learning to use org-agenda, so I do have a work.org file that
has my TODO tasks in it. Is there a way to temporarily remove my
work.orgTODO headings from the refile targets for when I'm sorting my
book notes?
Or is there a way to have different "projects" with separate sets of refile
targets, one set of agenda files with refile targets for when I'm refiling
TODO tasks, another set of agenda files for when I'm refiling book notes?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Best,
Jay

---
Jay Dixit
jaydixit.com
(646) 355-8001
[image: Facebook] <http://facebook.com/jaydixit> [image:
Twitter]<https://twitter.com/jaydixit>
 [image: The New York Writers’
Intensive]<http://www.newyorkwritersintensive.com>

Jay Dixit

ᐧ

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* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
  2014-04-27 22:25 using org-refile to sort research notes? Jay Dixit
@ 2014-04-28  0:25 ` Alan L Tyree
  2014-04-28  0:54 ` Richard Lawrence
  2014-05-06 23:05 ` Kyle Meyer
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Alan L Tyree @ 2014-04-28  0:25 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode

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Hi Jay,
C-c [ and C-c ]  adds and removes the current file from the agenda list. 
I can never remember these, so I leave the menus turned on in emacs 
(makes me a wimp!).

BUT: do you really need to do this? It is the way I used to work, but my 
current book is 600+ pages and I am keeping it and all my research in a 
single file. By using the 'hoist' C-x n s for a subtree, writing is 
focussed and yet everything is where I need it.

Maybe it won't work for you but I find it very convenient.

Cheers,
Alan


On 28/04/14 08:25, Jay Dixit wrote:
> Hello friendly org-mode community,
>
> I'm using org-mode to research and write a nonfiction book. I have a 
> large amount of notes and quotes that I now need to sort into separate 
> files.
>
> I am creating separate org files, one for each chapter of my 
> book—chapter-1.org <http://chapter-1.org>, chapter-2.org 
> <http://chapter-2.org>, etc.—with org headings in each one for every 
> topic/subsection.
>
> I now want to categorize my notes, moving them from where they 
> are—i.e. in a set of long, unorganized org files with names like 
> new-research.org <http://new-research.org> and 
> more-research-and-notes.org <http://more-research-and-notes.org>—into 
> the the chapter files.
>
> 1. Am I right in thinking that org-refile is the most efficient way to 
> do this?
> 2. What's the best way to do this? Should I add all of my chapter.org 
> <http://chapter.org> files to the agenda using 
> org-agenda-file-to-front? I ask because these are not TODO headings, 
> just headings with notes and quotes, so I'm not sure if using 
> org-agenda functionality is appropriate.
> 3. I am also learning to use org-agenda, so I do have a work.org 
> <http://work.org> file that has my TODO tasks in it. Is there a way to 
> temporarily remove my work.org <http://work.org> TODO headings from 
> the refile targets for when I'm sorting my book notes? Or is there a 
> way to have different "projects" with separate sets of refile targets, 
> one set of agenda files with refile targets for when I'm refiling TODO 
> tasks, another set of agenda files for when I'm refiling book notes?
>
> Thanks in advance for any advice.
>
> Best,
> Jay
>
> ---
> Jay Dixit
> jaydixit.com <http://jaydixit.com>
> (646) 355-8001
> Facebook <http://facebook.com/jaydixit> Twitter 
> <https://twitter.com/jaydixit> The New York Writers’ Intensive 
> <http://www.newyorkwritersintensive.com>
> Jay Dixit
>
> ᐧ

-- 
Alan L Tyree                    http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~alan
Tel:  04 2748 6206              sip:typhoon@iptel.org


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* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
  2014-04-27 22:25 using org-refile to sort research notes? Jay Dixit
  2014-04-28  0:25 ` Alan L Tyree
@ 2014-04-28  0:54 ` Richard Lawrence
  2014-05-06 23:05 ` Kyle Meyer
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Richard Lawrence @ 2014-04-28  0:54 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode; +Cc: Jay Dixit

Hi Jay,

Jay Dixit <dixit@aya.yale.edu> writes:

> Hello friendly org-mode community,
>
> I'm using org-mode to research and write a nonfiction book. I have a large
> amount of notes and quotes that I now need to sort into separate files.
>
> I am creating separate org files, one for each chapter of my book—
> chapter-1.org, chapter-2.org, etc.—with org headings in each one for every
> topic/subsection.
>
> I now want to categorize my notes, moving them from where they are—i.e. in
> a set of long, unorganized org files with names like new-research.org and
> more-research-and-notes.org—into the the chapter files.
>
> 1. Am I right in thinking that org-refile is the most efficient way to do
> this?

That sounds right to me.

> 2. What's the best way to do this? Should I add all of my chapter.org files
> to the agenda using org-agenda-file-to-front? I ask because these are not
> TODO headings, just headings with notes and quotes, so I'm not sure if
> using org-agenda functionality is appropriate.

Rather than adding these files to the agenda, I would have a look at the
`org-refile-targets' variable.  This variable tells Org where to look
for entries to refile under.

If this is a one-time operation, you may be able to just set the
variable a few times: adjust the variable to point to your chapter-1.org
notes heading, then refile all those notes; then point it to your
chapter-2.org notes heading, then refile all those notes...; etc.  This
will make it super easy to get the right refile target.

> Thanks in advance for any advice.

I don't know what led you to choose the new file layout that you're
moving to, but here is an alternative that you might also consider.

Make your project into just two files, say book.org and notes.org; the
first contains the text of the book, while the second contains the notes
and tasks for each chapter.  One advantage of this setup is that it
would allow you to organize your notes in whatever way is most natural
to them, rather than by chapter.  You can then use tags to associate
notes with chapters.  If for example you have some quotes that belong
together but are relevant to both chapters 1 and 2, you can have them in
a single entry in notes.org, tagged with :ch1:ch2:.  Likewise for tasks:
if some tasks require you to modify multiple chapters, you just tag them
multiple times.  (Links may also be helpful in this setup.)

I used to have a setup a lot like the one you described, but I found
that tags allowed me to organize my notes and tasks with much more
flexibility than using a tree-like hierarchy.  There's always the
question of where some note belongs when you can only file it in one
place.

I now use the two-file setup for writing my dissertation.  I keep tasks
and notes about readings I do in one file, with tags to associate them
with chapters and so on, and do my actual writing in another file.  This
keeps both types of information clean and organized, but I can move
easily between them.

--
Best,
Richard

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 7+ messages in thread

* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
  2014-04-27 22:25 using org-refile to sort research notes? Jay Dixit
  2014-04-28  0:25 ` Alan L Tyree
  2014-04-28  0:54 ` Richard Lawrence
@ 2014-05-06 23:05 ` Kyle Meyer
  2 siblings, 0 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Kyle Meyer @ 2014-05-06 23:05 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Jay Dixit; +Cc: org-mode

Hi Jay,

Jay Dixit <dixit@aya.yale.edu> wrote:
[...]
> 2. What's the best way to do this? Should I add all of my chapter.org files
> to the agenda using org-agenda-file-to-front? I ask because these are not
> TODO headings, just headings with notes and quotes, so I'm not sure if
> using org-agenda functionality is appropriate.
> 3. I am also learning to use org-agenda, so I do have a work.org file that
> has my TODO tasks in it. Is there a way to temporarily remove my
> work.orgTODO headings from the refile targets for when I'm sorting my
> book notes?

Here are a couple other approaches you can consider.

As mentioned in other responses, the best way depends on your preference
for structuring your Org files. I prefer to keep project-specific files
separate from my general agenda files. If I capture something in my
agenda files that I want to refile to a non-agenda file, I use a few
functions [1] for temporarily setting `org-refile-targets'.

If you are repeatedly refiling to certain targets (but still want to
keep them separate from you're global refiling targets), you can define
a function that overrides `org-refile-targets' and then bind it to a
key.

Another solution, if you are only refiling between files within your
book chapter directory, is to use a .dir-locals.el file in your book
directory and set `org-refile-targets' there.

  ((org-mode . ((org-refile-targets . (... project settings ...)))))


[1] https://github.com/kyleam/emacs.d/blob/b15ba9f8250c433b621da023f7607cbf29c25581/lisp/init-org.el#L221-L254

--
Kyle

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 7+ messages in thread

* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
@ 2014-05-07 14:40 Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge @ 2014-05-07 14:40 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode; +Cc: dixit

Hi Jay,

I keep all my notes out of the agenda, because it slows down building the agenda (at least with previous versions of org, it might have improved recently), which I do quite often.

Instead I keep all those notes files in the variable org-agenda-text-search-extra-files, so that I am able to search on them and add them as well to the org-refile-targets. If you keep all your notes in the directory ~/org/notes, then set:

     #+BEGIN_SRC emacs-lisp
       (setq org-agenda-text-search-extra-files (cddr
                                                 (directory-files
                                                  "~/org/notes"
                                                  t
                                                  nil)))
       (setq org-refile-targets (list '(org-agenda-files
                                        . (:maxlevel . 1))
                                      '(org-agenda-text-search-extra-files
                                        . (:maxlevel . 1))
                                      '(nil
                                        . (:maxlevel . 5))))
     #+END_SRC

Best,

Jorge.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 7+ messages in thread

* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
  2014-05-05  6:17 Jay Dixit
@ 2014-05-05  9:40 ` Leonard Avery Randall
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 7+ messages in thread
From: Leonard Avery Randall @ 2014-05-05  9:40 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Jay Dixit; +Cc: org-mode

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Hi Jay,
Regarding org-refile: I just keep all my current projects in my agenda 
list. I then set up org-refile-targets to (org-agenda-files :maxlevel . 
6). This allows me to quickly refile a subtree to any subtree in any 
project that I am currently working on. (I use this frequently to 
organize my reading list, but I also use it to organize todos and 
reorganize sections in my thesis). I also found that setting 
org-outline-complete-in-steps to nil and setting 
org-agenda-use-outline-path to t makes refile much quicker. I just call 
org-refile and then begin typing the name of the top-level header that I 
want. I can then use tab completion to get to any subtree I want. If you 
have many identical top level headers this may not be an ideal setup, 
but for me it works well. To make this process faster I use 
org-speed-commands, and I have even added a key-chord shortcut for 
org-refile so I do not have to be at the beginning of the headline to 
refile. One of my projects for today is to organize some free writing I 
did before I developed my current system, and this setup will make the 
process much quicker.

Now regarding workflow. I use four files to organize my thesis and other 
projects. I have a Readinglist.org file that contains all of the sources 
for research. This is organized by topic, and tagged with various todo 
states (FIND READ ANNO | NOTES). I keep many of my generic notes on the 
topics in a few notes headlines at the beginning of each topic. A 
subtree view of a headline from this file might look something like this:

* Moral Responsibility
** Goals for these Texts
** Important Claims Supported by Multiple Sources
*** Claim 1...
*** Claim 2
...
** Important Quotes . . .
** Other Notes . . .
** Sources
*** READ Kant's Account of Imputation, By Famous Kant Scholar.
. . .

I also use org-bibtex to keep bibtex info in each source subtree, and I 
can create a current bibtex file whenever I need.

Then I have my Thesis-projects.org file. It has an outline of my thesis 
and todo states for each section. I set up an org capture template for 
this file, so if I think of something that I need to do while I am 
writing I can quickly capture a todo that links to the subtree I am 
working in. It goes into the inbox for this file and then at the end of 
the week, I organize these todos into the appropriate subtree with 
org-refile.

I also have a GTD.org fil. It contains all the projects and todos that 
are not directly related to the thesis, and I have an org-capture 
template set up to the inbox of this file. It is not technically part of 
my writing workflow, but if I remember that I have to pick up groceries 
after my workday, I allows me to quickly capture a todo, and get back to 
work with a clear mind.

Finally I have my Thesis.org file. It contains my thesis as well as 
notes specific to each chapter, and old drafts of chapters that I have 
not yet completely rewritten. The notes go in a COMMENT subtree at the 
beginning of each chapter, and the old drafts go in an Old Drafts tree 
tagged :noexport:. (I find it most useful to have my notes and old 
drafts right at hand for writing, but  Richard's solution seems 
reasonable as well.)

When it comes to actual drafting I use indirect buffers to put my notes 
for the chapter, or an earlier draft on one side of the screen and my 
current draft on the other. This allows me to keep distractions at a 
minimum.

Additionally, I tag all todos and readings associated with a particular 
chapter :chap1:, :chap2:, etc. This allows me to quickly call an agenda 
that gives me a clear idea of what still needs done for each chapter.

Hope that is helpful.

All Best,
Leonard

> ᐧ

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 7+ messages in thread

* Re: using org-refile to sort research notes?
@ 2014-05-05  6:17 Jay Dixit
  2014-05-05  9:40 ` Leonard Avery Randall
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 7+ messages in thread
From: Jay Dixit @ 2014-05-05  6:17 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: org-mode

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Richard and Alan,

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like this is turning into a larger
discussion of how to organize a workflow for writing a book. Which is great
- I could use some insight. My problem is I have dozens of disparate files,
each created in a different moment of inspiration and each containing
notes, strategizing, or actual writing for the book.

Richard: You have all your notes in one notes.org file, and you have
another file e.g. writing.org for actual writing? How do you then work - do
you, say, split your frame into side-by-side windows, writing in the right
window while working off of notes from the left?

And to anyone using org-mode for book writing: Do you put thoughts about
structure, tone, and objectives for each section along with the research
notes? Do you make use commenting at all?

If this is off-topic for the list, I'd be happy to discuss them off-list
via email. Or if there's interest, I could create a separate list for
'org-mode for writers.'

Thanks again,
Jay

---
Jay Dixit
jaydixit.com
(646) 355-8001
 ᐧ

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 7+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2014-05-07 14:41 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 7+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2014-04-27 22:25 using org-refile to sort research notes? Jay Dixit
2014-04-28  0:25 ` Alan L Tyree
2014-04-28  0:54 ` Richard Lawrence
2014-05-06 23:05 ` Kyle Meyer
2014-05-05  6:17 Jay Dixit
2014-05-05  9:40 ` Leonard Avery Randall
2014-05-07 14:40 Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge

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