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* Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
@ 2011-09-14 17:43 Alan E. Davis
  2011-09-14 18:26 ` Thomas S. Dye
                   ` (4 more replies)
  0 siblings, 5 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Alan E. Davis @ 2011-09-14 17:43 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: org-mode

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I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
"orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
ideas.

I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
of (and there are dozens of these).

PROJECTS: I can define projects as
       - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose
       - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself to
make each month)
       - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a
research project about a coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a
LaTeX file tree for a publication ten years ago)


TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,
      - bills (marked by tag "bill"
     - phone calls to make

     I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all my
other files.   However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater
the clutter.   And, as a recent thread called to mind, there are times when
the list of agenda files prevents me from searching for tags or todos.  SO
where is the happy medium?

Some thoughts:
     -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda
files to encompass all *org files in a directory.  This actually set the
agenda-files variable to all files for the rest of the session, so I gave
that idea up----although I know it's possible to do it.
     -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining.
     -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files
explicitly, or adding them one at a time.
     -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the
recent files I had worked on during the session,
        however, in as streamlined a way as possible.


I don't need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize bibliographic
references for my next trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep
these organized to jog my memory in planning my time in some loose sense.

I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to sort
through the list of projects that are 3 months overdue.

Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I
need to junk alot of the tags I set up long ago.

These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this.

And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to
solve these issues.

Alan Davis

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
@ 2011-09-14 18:26 ` Thomas S. Dye
  2011-09-14 18:40 ` Russell Adams
                   ` (3 subsequent siblings)
  4 siblings, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Thomas S. Dye @ 2011-09-14 18:26 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Alan E. Davis; +Cc: org-mode

Aloha Alan,

I found myself in a similar situation a while back and it helped me to
do a weekly review.  I base mine on Bernt Hansen's experience:

http://doc.norang.ca/org-mode.html#sec-11-1

Every Monday a task pops up reminding me to complete the weekly review.
Clicking on the task takes me to a checkbox list that gives a label to
the individual review task and the keystrokes needed to invoke the
corresponding agenda view.

I'm typically monitoring 1-2 dozen projects and the whole review, which
is now 12 steps, takes me a couple of hours to complete.  I suppose I
could cut this time down if I were more organized during the week, but
I'm not, which is why I value the tools in Org-mode.

Also, I found Bernt's ideas on how to structure org-mode files very
helpful.  I'm not able consistently to pick the best option among the
very many that org-mode makes possible, so I've come to rely on the
advice of Bernt and others.

hth,
Tom

"Alan E. Davis" <lngndvs@gmail.com> writes:

> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
> that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
> "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
> works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
> ideas.
>
> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
> think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
> them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
> in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
> of (and there are dozens of these).
>
> PROJECTS: I can define projects as
>        - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose
>        - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself to
> make each month)
>        - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a
> research project about a coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a
> LaTeX file tree for a publication ten years ago)
>
>
> TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,
>       - bills (marked by tag "bill"
>      - phone calls to make
>
>      I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all my
> other files.   However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater
> the clutter.   And, as a recent thread called to mind, there are times when
> the list of agenda files prevents me from searching for tags or todos.  SO
> where is the happy medium?
>
> Some thoughts:
>      -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda
> files to encompass all *org files in a directory.  This actually set the
> agenda-files variable to all files for the rest of the session, so I gave
> that idea up----although I know it's possible to do it.
>      -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining.
>      -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files
> explicitly, or adding them one at a time.
>      -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the
> recent files I had worked on during the session,
>         however, in as streamlined a way as possible.
>
>
> I don't need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize bibliographic
> references for my next trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep
> these organized to jog my memory in planning my time in some loose sense.
>
> I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to sort
> through the list of projects that are 3 months overdue.
>
> Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I
> need to junk alot of the tags I set up long ago.
>
> These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this.
>
> And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to
> solve these issues.
>
> Alan Davis
> I&#39;ve been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for ideas.  
>
> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself of (and there are dozens of these).   
>
> PROJECTS: I can define projects as       - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose       - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself to make each month)       - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a research project about a coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a LaTeX file tree for a publication ten years ago)
>
> TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,       - bills (marked by tag "bill"     - phone calls to make     I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all my other files.   However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater the clutter.   And, as a recent thread called to mind, there are times when the list of agenda files prevents me from searching for tags or todos.  SO where is the happy medium?
>
> Some thoughts:     -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda files to encompass all *org files in a directory.  This actually set the agenda-files variable to all files for the rest of the session, so I gave that idea up----although I know it&#39;s possible to do it.  
>
>      -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining.       -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files explicitly, or adding them one at a time.     -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the recent files I had worked on during the session, 
>
>         however, in as streamlined a way as possible.    I don&#39;t need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize bibliographic references for my next trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep these organized to jog my memory in planning my time in some loose sense.
>
> I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to sort through the list of projects that are 3 months overdue.Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I need to junk alot of the tags I set up long ago.
>
> These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this.  And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to solve these issues.  Alan Davis

-- 
Thomas S. Dye
http://www.tsdye.com

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
  2011-09-14 18:26 ` Thomas S. Dye
@ 2011-09-14 18:40 ` Russell Adams
  2011-09-14 20:00   ` Martyn Jago
  2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
                   ` (2 subsequent siblings)
  4 siblings, 1 reply; 11+ messages in thread
From: Russell Adams @ 2011-09-14 18:40 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 10:43:28AM -0700, Alan E. Davis wrote:
> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
> that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
> "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
> works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
> ideas.
>
> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
> think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
> them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
> in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
> of (and there are dozens of these).
>
> PROJECTS: I can define projects as
>        - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose
>        - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself to
> make each month)
>        - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a
> research project about a coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a
> LaTeX file tree for a publication ten years ago)
>
>
> TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,
>       - bills (marked by tag "bill"
>      - phone calls to make
>
>      I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all my
> other files.   However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater
> the clutter.   And, as a recent thread called to mind, there are times when
> the list of agenda files prevents me from searching for tags or todos.  SO
> where is the happy medium?
>
> Some thoughts:
>      -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda
> files to encompass all *org files in a directory.  This actually set the
> agenda-files variable to all files for the rest of the session, so I gave
> that idea up----although I know it's possible to do it.
>      -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining.
>      -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files
> explicitly, or adding them one at a time.
>      -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the
> recent files I had worked on during the session,
>         however, in as streamlined a way as possible.
>
>
> I don't need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize bibliographic
> references for my next trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep
> these organized to jog my memory in planning my time in some loose sense.
>
> I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to sort
> through the list of projects that are 3 months overdue.
>
> Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I
> need to junk alot of the tags I set up long ago.
>
> These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this.
>
> And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to
> solve these issues.
>
> Alan Davis

Alan,

I keep two main Org files (Biz, Personal) which are the only two files
in my agenda. I use Capture almost exclusively to add to these files.

Every project I do is a separate Org file, which I timestamp heavily
but I don't typically add them to my agenda. If they need an agenda
item, I may temporarily add them to the agenda, or put an entry in my
main pair of files.

This really keeps the clutter down. I can run agenda inside a project
by restricting agenda to the current file.

I hope that helps.

Thanks.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Russell Adams                            RLAdams@AdamsInfoServ.com

PGP Key ID:     0x1160DCB3           http://www.adamsinfoserv.com/

Fingerprint:    1723 D8CA 4280 1EC9 557F  66E8 1154 E018 1160 DCB3

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
  2011-09-14 18:26 ` Thomas S. Dye
  2011-09-14 18:40 ` Russell Adams
@ 2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
  2011-09-14 21:04   ` Christian Moe
  2011-09-14 21:49   ` Darlan Cavalcante Moreira
  2011-09-17 19:32 ` Max Mikhanosha
  2011-09-18  2:40 ` David Rogers
  4 siblings, 2 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Olaf Dietsche @ 2011-09-14 18:59 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Alan E. Davis; +Cc: org-mode

Hi Alan,

"Alan E. Davis" <lngndvs@gmail.com> writes:

> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
> that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
> "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
> works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
> ideas.

I (and many others) struggle too with becoming "organized". And usually
it's not a "tool bankruptcy", but the lack of a coherent system.

What helped me to some degree - and I'm still learning - was David
Allen's book "Getting Things DONE". You will find lots of information
about GTD in the internet (google, youtube) and at the orgmode website
<http://orgmode.org/worg/org-gtd-etc.html>. I also took lots of good
ideas and .emacs snippets from Bernt Hansen's website at:
<http://doc.norang.ca/org-mode.html>.

And although GTD is a pretty simple system once you get it, I suggest,
take the time and read the book (your library might have a copy) and
start slowly from there on.

> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
> think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
> them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
> in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
> of (and there are dozens of these).

Both projects and tasks result in actions, which have to be completed
eventually. So there's not really any difference in handling these,
besides maybe the number of single steps it takes to complete.

And finally, paraphrasing Pete Phillips in
<http://article.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/4854>, there will be the
time, where you have to bite the bullet and "just do it".

Regards, Olaf

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 18:40 ` Russell Adams
@ 2011-09-14 20:00   ` Martyn Jago
  2011-09-14 22:50     ` Russell Adams
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 11+ messages in thread
From: Martyn Jago @ 2011-09-14 20:00 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode

Hi Russell

Russell Adams <RLAdams@AdamsInfoServ.Com> writes:

[...]

>
> I hope that helps.
>
> Thanks.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> Russell Adams                            RLAdams@AdamsInfoServ.com
>
> PGP Key ID:     0x1160DCB3           http://www.adamsinfoserv.com/
>
> Fingerprint:    1723 D8CA 4280 1EC9 557F  66E8 1154 E018 1160 DCB3

(Off topic) I never thanked you for your (video) talk at HLUG, which
essentially introduced me to org-mode proper (despite having already
generated 'outline mode' formatted output to benefit from the
outlining).  Your talk blew me away, since I had literally no idea of
the power of org-mode.  Great practical enthusiasm demonstrated - and I
bought it (the killer app).  So - thanks for that!

Best, Martyn

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
@ 2011-09-14 21:04   ` Christian Moe
  2011-09-14 21:49   ` Darlan Cavalcante Moreira
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Christian Moe @ 2011-09-14 21:04 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Olaf Dietsche; +Cc: org-mode

I realize that other people's mileage may and does differ, but 
personally, I have long found the amazing functionality, 
customizability and hackability of Org-mode an astonishingly effective 
tool for PTO (Putting Things Off).

:-)

Christian


On 9/14/11 8:59 PM, Olaf Dietsche wrote:
> Hi Alan,
>
> "Alan E. Davis"<lngndvs@gmail.com>  writes:
>
>> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
>> that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
>> "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
>> works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
>> ideas.
>
> I (and many others) struggle too with becoming "organized". And usually
> it's not a "tool bankruptcy", but the lack of a coherent system.
>
> What helped me to some degree - and I'm still learning - was David
> Allen's book "Getting Things DONE". You will find lots of information
> about GTD in the internet (google, youtube) and at the orgmode website
> <http://orgmode.org/worg/org-gtd-etc.html>. I also took lots of good
> ideas and .emacs snippets from Bernt Hansen's website at:
> <http://doc.norang.ca/org-mode.html>.
>
> And although GTD is a pretty simple system once you get it, I suggest,
> take the time and read the book (your library might have a copy) and
> start slowly from there on.
>
>> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
>> think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
>> them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
>> in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
>> of (and there are dozens of these).
>
> Both projects and tasks result in actions, which have to be completed
> eventually. So there's not really any difference in handling these,
> besides maybe the number of single steps it takes to complete.
>
> And finally, paraphrasing Pete Phillips in
> <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/4854>, there will be the
> time, where you have to bite the bullet and "just do it".
>
> Regards, Olaf
>
>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
  2011-09-14 21:04   ` Christian Moe
@ 2011-09-14 21:49   ` Darlan Cavalcante Moreira
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Darlan Cavalcante Moreira @ 2011-09-14 21:49 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Olaf Dietsche; +Cc: org-mode


I'm in the same situation and (lack of) consistence is my main problem.

One thing that helps me is to define in my custom agenda commands one
command that only returns the STARTED tasks (Bernt Hansen's website has
more info about this). In this way I can quickly go back to a task that I
started but didn't finished in the previous day, for instance.

For my custom agenda commands I use
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
(setq org-agenda-custom-commands
      (quote (
              (...)
              ("S" "Started Tasks" todo "STARTED" ((org-agenda-todo-ignore-with-date nil) (org-agenda-todo-ignore-scheduled nil)))
              (...)
              )))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---


--
Darlan


At Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:59:00 +0200,
Olaf Dietsche <olaf+list.orgmode@olafdietsche.de> wrote:
> 
> Hi Alan,
> 
> "Alan E. Davis" <lngndvs@gmail.com> writes:
> 
> > I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks
> > that are weeks and even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring
> > "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from scratch, except my current setup
> > works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for
> > ideas.
> 
> I (and many others) struggle too with becoming "organized". And usually
> it's not a "tool bankruptcy", but the lack of a coherent system.
> 
> What helped me to some degree - and I'm still learning - was David
> Allen's book "Getting Things DONE". You will find lots of information
> about GTD in the internet (google, youtube) and at the orgmode website
> <http://orgmode.org/worg/org-gtd-etc.html>. I also took lots of good
> ideas and .emacs snippets from Bernt Hansen's website at:
> <http://doc.norang.ca/org-mode.html>.
> 
> And although GTD is a pretty simple system once you get it, I suggest,
> take the time and read the book (your library might have a copy) and
> start slowly from there on.
> 
> > I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I
> > think there is not clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize
> > them so that, at least, agenda displays the day to day TODO tasks separated
> > in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to remind myself
> > of (and there are dozens of these).
> 
> Both projects and tasks result in actions, which have to be completed
> eventually. So there's not really any difference in handling these,
> besides maybe the number of single steps it takes to complete.
> 
> And finally, paraphrasing Pete Phillips in
> <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.orgmode/4854>, there will be the
> time, where you have to bite the bullet and "just do it".
> 
> Regards, Olaf
> 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 20:00   ` Martyn Jago
@ 2011-09-14 22:50     ` Russell Adams
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Russell Adams @ 2011-09-14 22:50 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode

> (Off topic) I never thanked you for your (video) talk at HLUG, which
> essentially introduced me to org-mode proper (despite having already
> generated 'outline mode' formatted output to benefit from the
> outlining).  Your talk blew me away, since I had literally no idea of
> the power of org-mode.  Great practical enthusiasm demonstrated - and I
> bought it (the killer app).  So - thanks for that!

I'm glad you enjoyed it! There's a screencast I posted to Vimeo not
long ago, and I've considered doing a video tutorial through the
manual...

Thanks.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Russell Adams                            RLAdams@AdamsInfoServ.com

PGP Key ID:     0x1160DCB3           http://www.adamsinfoserv.com/

Fingerprint:    1723 D8CA 4280 1EC9 557F  66E8 1154 E018 1160 DCB3

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
                   ` (2 preceding siblings ...)
  2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
@ 2011-09-17 19:32 ` Max Mikhanosha
  2011-09-18 19:22   ` Alan E. Davis
  2011-09-18  2:40 ` David Rogers
  4 siblings, 1 reply; 11+ messages in thread
From: Max Mikhanosha @ 2011-09-17 19:32 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Alan E. Davis; +Cc: org-mode

[-- Warning: decoded text below may be mangled, UTF-8 assumed --]
[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8, Size: 9564 bytes --]

Below is infodump on how I use org-mode personally.. You are welcome
to poach ideas. Generally I'm pretty happy with my setup, and do not
plan to do any radical changes to it. Wall of text warning.

1. Org file per project, with single top level heading.. Each file has
   a #+TAGS cookie that assigns default tags.

   Such project files would have more then one level heading, usually
   when project logically splits into sub-projects

   Example: Emacs.org, top level headings. This one has unusually large
   amount of top level headings.
   
   - Emacs 
   - Org-Mode
   - Paredit-Magic
   - C-Paredit
   - Cycle-buffer

A few special org files which are not projects, one is called Assorted
Accounts for recording acc/pass/email info on various accounts, and
one is called Assorted Info for basically a knowledge base of anything
that is not a TODO. The way I access these are through C-c / search,
seems to work very well.. Another "special" project is Finances.org
and has everything to do with investments, encrypted entries for all
financial accounts, all recurring TODOS for bills, or portfolio
review, investment ideas, spreadsheets etc.
   
Capture often. Write down just enough so you can re-construct idea
later.. If you often wondering "wtf did I meant by that, then you are
not writing down enough.. If possible write/assign yourself a shortcut
key to your window manager so you can capture a short sentence with 1
key stroke even when in the other programs.

If it takes less then 1 minute to do what you are capturing,
especially if it involves emacs customization, do it right there, and
mark it it done, or C-c C-k it.. I usually mark it done and C-c C-c
it.

All captures go to Mind-Sweep.org, under top level heading.. Every few
days (once I have 10-20 items) in there, I go ahead and refile them to
appropriate projects, assigning priorities and efforts if these are
not there.

Have two agenda keys to show agenda sorted by priority, and by effort
up..I use block agenda that shows day agenda first, then all NEXT
items, then all TODO items.

Learn to use / key in agenda to quickly filter out stuff by tags.. For
me /e switches agenda to filter out be :emacs tag.

Have areas of focus. The mind is like a process working set. If I had
been working on some emacs problem and have Emacs "booted up" in my
brain, it takes a while to switch reboot my brain into "Looking at my
investments mode".

So as long as I'm working on lets say fixing something with paredit,
you can just as well knock out some other emacs things..

That is where agenda sorted by effort comes up. Since I'm hacking on
my emacs setup anyway, I bring up my effort-up agenda view, filter by
"emacs" and just knock out every item estimated at 10 minutes or
less. Sometimes knocking out up to 20 or so small TODO's in 2 hour
burst, taking care of everything that was annoying me with Emacs in
last 2 weeks.

Assign priorities to prune aggressively. If you have that #A item
starting you for last 5 days, its not #A.. Demote it until it sits in
the #F pile way down in agenda.

Temporary move projects out of agenda. Lets say you have a well
defined project and a bunch of nicely prioritized items, some of them
#A (which they are in the context of that project) but right now you
just don't feel like working on that project.

Starting at these #A items on top of your agenda every day without
starting to work on them, may be demoralizing. Way I deal with it, is
that I have "hold" tag, which I put on top level headings of the
projects, and its excluded from my agenda by default... If you have
not touched a project for 2 weeks, it probably should be on
hold.. When you bored and looking for things to work on, they you can
use agenda view without filtering out the "hold" projects, and see if
you can get a start on some of them.. This way I have only 3-4 projects
that are "in focus" rather then 30.. 

Review low priority items once a week, if you remember reviewing that
item last few weeks, just delete it.. If you are type of person who
can't let go, move it to MAYBE state.

If something computer related annoys you and interrupts your work flow
often, it should be #A item and needs to be fixed. Ie if you Emacs
session consists of 50% beeps, you need to fix something in your
setup.. If you dread doing something because its just too much effort,
you need to automate/rethink/change that process.

Don't burn out.. The bodybuilders and athletes have it right, you have
to cycle. If you go 100% all the time, generating ideas and knocking
out TODO's like a robot, you'll burn out. Take it easy for 1 week each
month. Does not mean eat pizza and party every day, but basically its
"relax and don't kill yourself" time.

Do any health, work, and lifestyle related TODO's first over any
computer related ones. Get that physical. Update/re-balance those
investments Deposit them checks and pay them bills. Switch to online bill
payment for everything, and synchronize your bill cycle dates, so that
you can pay all your bills in 30 minutes once a month.. If company
offers automatic billing feature, use it.

I have a "Pay bills" monthly recurring TODO, with 7 checkboxes. Of
which 4 pay themselves with automatic bill pay, and are checked
when I receive saying "your bill had been paid", and it takes me 10
minutes to pay the rest.

My stats if you want to compare:

Number of projects: 37
Number of "hold" projects 31
Number lines in all .org files: 16000
Number lines in all .org_archive files: 20000+
Number of TODO: 350
Number of #A todos: 8
Number of #B todos: 21
Number of #C todos: 30
Number of #F todos: 100 or so

Most important tags I have:

  focus   <- set on projects i should be working _right_now_, kind of opposite of "hold". 

  emacs   <- stuff to configure/fix in emacs

  hold    <- projects on hold

  bind    <- todos "bind some key to do whatever" which I have a lot of

  browse  <- todos "check out X, or research X on the web". Use this
             when you feel like browsing the web, can just as well
             make web browsing useful, instead of going to "waste your
             time" sites like reddit.
 
  health  <- any health / fitness related stuff

  finance <- investemnts, payroll, salary, bills

Plus private tags for various projects, which only make sense in the
context of the project

At Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:43:28 -0700,
Alan E. Davis wrote:
> 
> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with tasks that are weeks and
> even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting from
> scratch, except my current setup works so well for other things.   Might still do that, but I want
> to ask for ideas. 
> 
> I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.  I think there is not
> clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize them so that, at least, agenda displays
> the day to day TODO tasks separated in a meaningful way from the long term projects that I need to
> remind myself of (and there are dozens of these).  
> 
> PROJECTS: I can define projects as
>        - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose
>        - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself to make each month)
>        - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a research project about a
> coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a LaTeX file tree for a publication ten years ago)
> 
> TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,
>       - bills (marked by tag "bill"
>      - phone calls to make
> 
>      I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all my other files.  
> However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater the clutter.   And, as a recent
> thread called to mind, there are times when the list of agenda files prevents me from searching
> for tags or todos.  SO where is the happy medium?
> 
> Some thoughts:
>      -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda files to encompass all
> *org files in a directory.  This actually set the agenda-files variable to all files for the rest
> of the session, so I gave that idea up----although I know it's possible to do it. 
>      -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining. 
>      -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files explicitly, or adding them one
> at a time.
>      -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the recent files I had
> worked on during the session,
>         however, in as streamlined a way as possible.
>   Â> 
> I don't need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize bibliographic references for my next
> trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep these organized to jog my memory in planning
> my time in some loose sense.
> 
> I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to sort through the list of
> projects that are 3 months overdue.
> 
> Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I need to junk alot of the
> tags I set up long ago.
> 
> These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this. 
> 
> And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to solve these issues. 
> 
> Alan Davis
> 
> 

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
                   ` (3 preceding siblings ...)
  2011-09-17 19:32 ` Max Mikhanosha
@ 2011-09-18  2:40 ` David Rogers
  4 siblings, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: David Rogers @ 2011-09-18  2:40 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Alan E. Davis; +Cc: org-mode

"Alan E. Davis" <lngndvs@gmail.com> writes:

> --0016364d213773a53a04acea4da9 Content-Type: text/plain; 
> charset=ISO-8859-1 
> 
> I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is 
> cluttered with tasks that are weeks and even months past due.  I 
> am "this close" to declaring "orgmode bankruptcy" and starting 
> from scratch, except my current setup works so well for other 
> things.   Might still do that, but I want to ask for ideas.

Re. "orgmode bankruptcy":
Don't start your list from scratch; this problem will just happen 
again.
This is not the fault of any agenda system, and would have 
happened anyway. I think the problem likely comes from having a 
significant number of tasks that are mis-categorized and/or 
mis-judged. There are several possible ways that can happen:

(I'm sure I'm not seeing some of the possibilities here... my main 
point is that with these "problem tasks" there's something wrong 
with the task itself, not your reminder system; and furthermore 
that the defective tasks can probably be repaired or rehabilitated 
so that they get done.)

(And clearly, nothing I can say here is unique. It's all been done 
and all been said before, in different ways.)

- Tasks that were never worth doing; toss those ones out 
  immediately.

- Tasks that should never have been yours; either negotiate a way 
  to get 
  them to the proper person, or else decide to do them anyway (and 
  then actually do them!).

- Tasks that were important in the past, but now it's too late 
  (i.e. you 
  judge them to be un-salvageable); toss them out too (but make 
  sure it's REALLY too late before doing so). Failure happens 
  sometimes, and keeping an item on the agenda after it has failed 
  isn't helping anyone.

- Tasks that are turning out to be more difficult than they 
  looked; 
  break them down into parts to be done one at a time, share them, 
  or get someone else to do them.


- Just because a task looks/sounds/feels important, doesn't mean 
  that it 
  is. "What if I simply decided not to do it?" is always a valid 
  question.

- Any task that can safely be dropped should be dropped. There 
  will 
  always be enough real work to do without inventing more.

The truth is, you have to either do a task or else not do it; and the truth
is, you always have a choice about that.

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

* Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
  2011-09-17 19:32 ` Max Mikhanosha
@ 2011-09-18 19:22   ` Alan E. Davis
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 11+ messages in thread
From: Alan E. Davis @ 2011-09-18 19:22 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Max Mikhanosha; +Cc: org-mode

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 10071 bytes --]

Max:

This is an awesome, thought provoking "infodump."   Full of ideas that I can
use.   Thank you,

Alan

On Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 12:32 PM, Max Mikhanosha <max@openchat.com> wrote:

> Below is infodump on how I use org-mode personally.. You are welcome
> to poach ideas. Generally I'm pretty happy with my setup, and do not
> plan to do any radical changes to it. Wall of text warning.
>
> 1. Org file per project, with single top level heading.. Each file has
>   a #+TAGS cookie that assigns default tags.
>
>   Such project files would have more then one level heading, usually
>   when project logically splits into sub-projects
>
>   Example: Emacs.org, top level headings. This one has unusually large
>   amount of top level headings.
>
>   - Emacs
>   - Org-Mode
>   - Paredit-Magic
>   - C-Paredit
>   - Cycle-buffer
>
> A few special org files which are not projects, one is called Assorted
> Accounts for recording acc/pass/email info on various accounts, and
> one is called Assorted Info for basically a knowledge base of anything
> that is not a TODO. The way I access these are through C-c / search,
> seems to work very well.. Another "special" project is Finances.org
> and has everything to do with investments, encrypted entries for all
> financial accounts, all recurring TODOS for bills, or portfolio
> review, investment ideas, spreadsheets etc.
>
> Capture often. Write down just enough so you can re-construct idea
> later.. If you often wondering "wtf did I meant by that, then you are
> not writing down enough.. If possible write/assign yourself a shortcut
> key to your window manager so you can capture a short sentence with 1
> key stroke even when in the other programs.
>
> If it takes less then 1 minute to do what you are capturing,
> especially if it involves emacs customization, do it right there, and
> mark it it done, or C-c C-k it.. I usually mark it done and C-c C-c
> it.
>
> All captures go to Mind-Sweep.org, under top level heading.. Every few
> days (once I have 10-20 items) in there, I go ahead and refile them to
> appropriate projects, assigning priorities and efforts if these are
> not there.
>
> Have two agenda keys to show agenda sorted by priority, and by effort
> up..I use block agenda that shows day agenda first, then all NEXT
> items, then all TODO items.
>
> Learn to use / key in agenda to quickly filter out stuff by tags.. For
> me /e switches agenda to filter out be :emacs tag.
>
> Have areas of focus. The mind is like a process working set. If I had
> been working on some emacs problem and have Emacs "booted up" in my
> brain, it takes a while to switch reboot my brain into "Looking at my
> investments mode".
>
> So as long as I'm working on lets say fixing something with paredit,
> you can just as well knock out some other emacs things..
>
> That is where agenda sorted by effort comes up. Since I'm hacking on
> my emacs setup anyway, I bring up my effort-up agenda view, filter by
> "emacs" and just knock out every item estimated at 10 minutes or
> less. Sometimes knocking out up to 20 or so small TODO's in 2 hour
> burst, taking care of everything that was annoying me with Emacs in
> last 2 weeks.
>
> Assign priorities to prune aggressively. If you have that #A item
> starting you for last 5 days, its not #A.. Demote it until it sits in
> the #F pile way down in agenda.
>
> Temporary move projects out of agenda. Lets say you have a well
> defined project and a bunch of nicely prioritized items, some of them
> #A (which they are in the context of that project) but right now you
> just don't feel like working on that project.
>
> Starting at these #A items on top of your agenda every day without
> starting to work on them, may be demoralizing. Way I deal with it, is
> that I have "hold" tag, which I put on top level headings of the
> projects, and its excluded from my agenda by default... If you have
> not touched a project for 2 weeks, it probably should be on
> hold.. When you bored and looking for things to work on, they you can
> use agenda view without filtering out the "hold" projects, and see if
> you can get a start on some of them.. This way I have only 3-4 projects
> that are "in focus" rather then 30..
>
> Review low priority items once a week, if you remember reviewing that
> item last few weeks, just delete it.. If you are type of person who
> can't let go, move it to MAYBE state.
>
> If something computer related annoys you and interrupts your work flow
> often, it should be #A item and needs to be fixed. Ie if you Emacs
> session consists of 50% beeps, you need to fix something in your
> setup.. If you dread doing something because its just too much effort,
> you need to automate/rethink/change that process.
>
> Don't burn out.. The bodybuilders and athletes have it right, you have
> to cycle. If you go 100% all the time, generating ideas and knocking
> out TODO's like a robot, you'll burn out. Take it easy for 1 week each
> month. Does not mean eat pizza and party every day, but basically its
> "relax and don't kill yourself" time.
>
> Do any health, work, and lifestyle related TODO's first over any
> computer related ones. Get that physical. Update/re-balance those
> investments Deposit them checks and pay them bills. Switch to online bill
> payment for everything, and synchronize your bill cycle dates, so that
> you can pay all your bills in 30 minutes once a month.. If company
> offers automatic billing feature, use it.
>
> I have a "Pay bills" monthly recurring TODO, with 7 checkboxes. Of
> which 4 pay themselves with automatic bill pay, and are checked
> when I receive saying "your bill had been paid", and it takes me 10
> minutes to pay the rest.
>
> My stats if you want to compare:
>
> Number of projects: 37
> Number of "hold" projects 31
> Number lines in all .org files: 16000
> Number lines in all .org_archive files: 20000+
> Number of TODO: 350
> Number of #A todos: 8
> Number of #B todos: 21
> Number of #C todos: 30
> Number of #F todos: 100 or so
>
> Most important tags I have:
>
>  focus   <- set on projects i should be working _right_now_, kind of
> opposite of "hold".
>
>  emacs   <- stuff to configure/fix in emacs
>
>  hold    <- projects on hold
>
>  bind    <- todos "bind some key to do whatever" which I have a lot of
>
>  browse  <- todos "check out X, or research X on the web". Use this
>             when you feel like browsing the web, can just as well
>             make web browsing useful, instead of going to "waste your
>             time" sites like reddit.
>
>  health  <- any health / fitness related stuff
>
>  finance <- investemnts, payroll, salary, bills
>
> Plus private tags for various projects, which only make sense in the
> context of the project
>
> At Wed, 14 Sep 2011 10:43:28 -0700,
> Alan E. Davis wrote:
> >
> > I've been using org-mode for a few years.  My agenda is cluttered with
> tasks that are weeks and
> > even months past due.  I am "this close" to declaring "orgmode
> bankruptcy" and starting from
> > scratch, except my current setup works so well for other things.   Might
> still do that, but I want
> > to ask for ideas.
> >
> > I stumble consistently over the distinction between projects and tasks.
> I think there is not
> > clear distinction, but I need to find a way to organize them so that, at
> least, agenda displays
> > the day to day TODO tasks separated in a meaningful way from the long
> term projects that I need to
> > remind myself of (and there are dozens of these).
> >
> > PROJECTS: I can define projects as
> >        - an overall series of tasks related to a single purpose
> >        - a recurring task (monthly calendars that I need to remind myself
> to make each month)
> >        - an actual project I am working on (writing a proposal, or a
> research project about a
> > coral, or a recipe database, or reconstructing a LaTeX file tree for a
> publication ten years ago)
> >
> > TODOS: perhaps tasks could be anything,
> >       - bills (marked by tag "bill"
> >      - phone calls to make
> >
> >      I am starting to understand how I TODOS can be scattered through all
> my other files.
> > However, the greater the number of agenda files, the greater the clutter.
>   And, as a recent
> > thread called to mind, there are times when the list of agenda files
> prevents me from searching
> > for tags or todos.  SO where is the happy medium?
> >
> > Some thoughts:
> >      -  I tried to write a custom agenda command that defined the agenda
> files to encompass all
> > *org files in a directory.  This actually set the agenda-files variable
> to all files for the rest
> > of the session, so I gave that idea up----although I know it's possible
> to do it.
> >      -  Again, the number of agenda files seems to be constraining.
> >      -  There seem to be issues between defining the agenda files
> explicitly, or adding them one
> > at a time.
> >      -  It would be useful if agenda searches automatically picked up the
> recent files I had
> > worked on during the session,
> >         however, in as streamlined a way as possible.
> >   Â>
> > I don't need to be reminded everyday that I have to organize
> bibliographic references for my next
> > trip to the library, but I have to have a way to keep these organized to
> jog my memory in planning
> > my time in some loose sense.
> >
> > I do need to have a list of bills that I can access without having to
> sort through the list of
> > projects that are 3 months overdue.
> >
> > Almost every week I have new insights into how to use tags, so perhaps I
> need to junk alot of the
> > tags I set up long ago.
> >
> > These thoughts are somewhat disconnected, and I apologize for this.
> >
> > And I would be grateful for any comments that would shed light on how to
> solve these issues.
> >
> > Alan Davis
> >
> >
>

[-- Attachment #2: Type: text/html, Size: 11228 bytes --]

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 11+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2011-09-18 19:22 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2011-09-14 17:43 Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks Alan E. Davis
2011-09-14 18:26 ` Thomas S. Dye
2011-09-14 18:40 ` Russell Adams
2011-09-14 20:00   ` Martyn Jago
2011-09-14 22:50     ` Russell Adams
2011-09-14 18:59 ` Olaf Dietsche
2011-09-14 21:04   ` Christian Moe
2011-09-14 21:49   ` Darlan Cavalcante Moreira
2011-09-17 19:32 ` Max Mikhanosha
2011-09-18 19:22   ` Alan E. Davis
2011-09-18  2:40 ` David Rogers

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