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From: "Alan E. Davis" <lngndvs@gmail.com>
To: Max Mikhanosha <max@openchat.com>
Cc: org-mode <emacs-orgmode@gnu.org>
Subject: Re: Overall organization/setup for org mode: Projects and Tasks
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 12:22:10 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <CAF-1L2R_OShZmQXWjV2c6iqJeXriAkUGD1XyKEgvYgu7jTajjQ@mail.gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <871uvf3qye.wl%max@openchat.com>

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


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
> >
> >

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  reply	other threads:[~2011-09-18 19:22 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2011-09-14 17:43 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 [this message]
2011-09-18  2:40 ` David Rogers

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