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* Input on organization of files for multiple projects?
@ 2011-07-22  2:33 John Hendy
  2011-07-22  3:15 ` Bernt Hansen
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 5+ messages in thread
From: John Hendy @ 2011-07-22  2:33 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode

Hi,


I've debated this before tangentially, but having used org-mode for
more than a year, now, I'd like to revisit this with some more formal
inquiries. [1] I just finished a mid-phase review for one of my
projects and will also be interviewing for a potential new position in
my company, and this has made me want to "regroup" and see if my use
of org-mode is what it could/should be. My main method has been:

- one file per month ~/org/yyyy-mmMMM.org (~/org/2011-07Jul.org)
--- at the end of a year, I dump all the month files into ~/org/archive_yyyy.org
- my notes look like so:

#+begin_example

* [date-stamp]

** Something I did       :proj_tag:
Notes about what it was, summary of things, or sub-level todo items

** todo [/] Something with some sub-steps  :proj_tag:
- [ ] step 1
- [ ] step 2
- [ ] step 3

** Some data I collected      :proj_tag:
| a table | for my data |
| etc | etc |

#+end_example


In any case, this works pretty well, but I think I'm becoming more and
more sensitive to the fact that I'm not as interested in just tracking
"journal" type entries. I now have bigger projects that are more
coherent and on-going vs. just supporting other people's projects and
noting what I contributed and test results. I find more often that I
used C-a s to search for something and end up in a file a couple
months back with some open todo items that I need to take care of.

But then I run across and update or new data... and I find myself
debating about whether to add it to 2011-05May.org or create a new
timestamp for it in 2011-07Jul.org.

So, I'm in the mood for input and suggestions. I've read a lot of the
org tutorials (norang in particular), but not a lot quite put the
whole picture out there -- how many files, how are they organized,
etc. A lot of people describe having files per "activity" (writing,
chores, research), but I'm in the same job, but contributing to
perhaps 5 or so main projects as well as my ideas/brainstorming stuff
(I work in R&D engineering/product development).

I'm hoping to hear some input about big picture structuring, keeping
track of year+ long projects, todo flows, if files have ever gotten
too big (a fear of mine), if and how you archive, etc.

I've thought of going to a structure with proj1.org, proj2.org, etc.
and then archiving into an archive_yyyy.org with main headings for
each project as I finish todos or as things get old. Or maybe I won't
need to. Maybe an org file can survive an entire project and just get
archived for reference when I'm done working on it. I'll probably
still need some kind of "odds and ends" file for things that don't
belong to a specific project.

Thanks for bearing with the rambling. Just itching for input and
learning from those more experienced.


Best regards,
John


---
[1] http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2010-03/msg00390.html

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: Input on organization of files for multiple projects?
  2011-07-22  2:33 Input on organization of files for multiple projects? John Hendy
@ 2011-07-22  3:15 ` Bernt Hansen
  2011-07-22 20:57   ` John Hendy
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 5+ messages in thread
From: Bernt Hansen @ 2011-07-22  3:15 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John Hendy; +Cc: emacs-orgmode

John Hendy <jw.hendy@gmail.com> writes:

> In any case, this works pretty well, but I think I'm becoming more and
> more sensitive to the fact that I'm not as interested in just tracking
> "journal" type entries. I now have bigger projects that are more
> coherent and on-going vs. just supporting other people's projects and
> noting what I contributed and test results. I find more often that I
> used C-a s to search for something and end up in a file a couple
> months back with some open todo items that I need to take care of.
>
> But then I run across and update or new data... and I find myself
> debating about whether to add it to 2011-05May.org or create a new
> timestamp for it in 2011-07Jul.org.
>
> So, I'm in the mood for input and suggestions. I've read a lot of the
> org tutorials (norang in particular), but not a lot quite put the
> whole picture out there -- how many files, how are they organized,
> etc. A lot of people describe having files per "activity" (writing,
> chores, research), but I'm in the same job, but contributing to
> perhaps 5 or so main projects as well as my ideas/brainstorming stuff
> (I work in R&D engineering/product development).
>
> I'm hoping to hear some input about big picture structuring, keeping
> track of year+ long projects, todo flows, if files have ever gotten
> too big (a fear of mine), if and how you archive, etc.
>
> I've thought of going to a structure with proj1.org, proj2.org, etc.
> and then archiving into an archive_yyyy.org with main headings for
> each project as I finish todos or as things get old. Or maybe I won't
> need to. Maybe an org file can survive an entire project and just get
> archived for reference when I'm done working on it. I'll probably
> still need some kind of "odds and ends" file for things that don't
> belong to a specific project.

Hi John,

I've been using org-mode for 5+ years now and I'm still using the same
structuring for tasks and notes that I originally set up.

I have a miscellaneous todo.org that I dump miscellaneous non-project
tasks into.  Diary stuff goes in diary.org (i d in the agenda) and
anything that should be grouped together (for some definition of a
group) lives in a separate org file.  I archive old entries from X.org
to X.org_archive monthly.

I now dump org files into directories and the directories contribute to
org-agenda-files (so new files just show up as the are created), and I
can add/drop entire directories of org files from my agenda easily.

This has the advantage that I'm free to split or consolidate org files
anytime I want - the agenda will still find the entries as long as they
are in directories that contribute to the agenda.

If you have 5 main projects that are unrelated I'd probably have one org
file for each project and group stuff in there in whatever order makes
sense to you.  I tend to keep project notes in project files.  When
notes for a project are generally useful I'll split that into a
notes-only org-file by itself and publish the results to HTML.

HTH,
-- 
Bernt

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: Input on organization of files for multiple projects?
  2011-07-22  3:15 ` Bernt Hansen
@ 2011-07-22 20:57   ` John Hendy
  2011-07-22 21:05     ` John Hendy
  2011-07-22 21:35     ` Bernt Hansen
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: John Hendy @ 2011-07-22 20:57 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Bernt Hansen; +Cc: emacs-orgmode

On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM, Bernt Hansen <bernt@norang.ca> wrote:
> John Hendy <jw.hendy@gmail.com> writes:
>
>> In any case, this works pretty well, but I think I'm becoming more and
>> more sensitive to the fact that I'm not as interested in just tracking
>> "journal" type entries. I now have bigger projects that are more
>> coherent and on-going vs. just supporting other people's projects and
>> noting what I contributed and test results. I find more often that I
>> used C-a s to search for something and end up in a file a couple
>> months back with some open todo items that I need to take care of.
>>
>> But then I run across and update or new data... and I find myself
>> debating about whether to add it to 2011-05May.org or create a new
>> timestamp for it in 2011-07Jul.org.
>>
>> So, I'm in the mood for input and suggestions. I've read a lot of the
>> org tutorials (norang in particular), but not a lot quite put the
>> whole picture out there -- how many files, how are they organized,
>> etc. A lot of people describe having files per "activity" (writing,
>> chores, research), but I'm in the same job, but contributing to
>> perhaps 5 or so main projects as well as my ideas/brainstorming stuff
>> (I work in R&D engineering/product development).
>>
>> I'm hoping to hear some input about big picture structuring, keeping
>> track of year+ long projects, todo flows, if files have ever gotten
>> too big (a fear of mine), if and how you archive, etc.
>>
>> I've thought of going to a structure with proj1.org, proj2.org, etc.
>> and then archiving into an archive_yyyy.org with main headings for
>> each project as I finish todos or as things get old. Or maybe I won't
>> need to. Maybe an org file can survive an entire project and just get
>> archived for reference when I'm done working on it. I'll probably
>> still need some kind of "odds and ends" file for things that don't
>> belong to a specific project.
>
> Hi John,
>
> I've been using org-mode for 5+ years now and I'm still using the same
> structuring for tasks and notes that I originally set up.
>

Wow, seems like it's really working well, then!

> I have a miscellaneous todo.org that I dump miscellaneous non-project
> tasks into.

Out of curiosity, are these just "loose" todos (no headlines or
anything)? Maybe I'm a digitial neat freak, but having long lists like
that without organization just bugs me. Or do you access almost all
todos via agenda and so it doesn't really matter?

> Diary stuff goes in diary.org (i d in the agenda) and
> anything that should be grouped together (for some definition of a
> group) lives in a separate org file.  I archive old entries from X.org
> to X.org_archive monthly.

Good to know.

>
> I now dump org files into directories and the directories contribute to
> org-agenda-files (so new files just show up as the are created), and I
> can add/drop entire directories of org files from my agenda easily.

I must have missed that directories work. Very cool and saves me
having to add them manually all the time! This is great.

>
> This has the advantage that I'm free to split or consolidate org files
> anytime I want - the agenda will still find the entries as long as they
> are in directories that contribute to the agenda.
>
> If you have 5 main projects that are unrelated I'd probably have one org
> file for each project and group stuff in there in whatever order makes
> sense to you.  I tend to keep project notes in project files.  When
> notes for a project are generally useful I'll split that into a
> notes-only org-file by itself and publish the results to HTML.

I re-read your setup page on norang.ca, and it looks like it's
actually a bit updated since I saw it last. I think I'll move in the
project file direction and try to implement capture as well (haven't
been using that at all). I'm still a little hazy on how this will all
pan out, as I have really liked my "journal" method of documenting
what I work on in terms of it making sense (just write what I did
under a headline timestamped with today's date -- simple).

The on-going projects thing was the main irk I've had. It just
*doesn't* make sense to update data or info on a headline from 2
months ago when new information comes up. But I don't want to split
the data, either. I've done that before and linked between different
file headlines for ongoing data collection and it's a hassle to follow
all those links around to compare data that should be in one place.

In your block agenda view, how do you get the "====" line separating
sections? Mine just pile on top of each other.


Thanks for the input!
John

>
> HTH,
> --
> Bernt
>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: Input on organization of files for multiple projects?
  2011-07-22 20:57   ` John Hendy
@ 2011-07-22 21:05     ` John Hendy
  2011-07-22 21:35     ` Bernt Hansen
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: John Hendy @ 2011-07-22 21:05 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Bernt Hansen; +Cc: emacs-orgmode

>
> In your block agenda view, how do you get the "====" line separating
> sections? Mine just pile on top of each other.
>

Doh. I copied the template I started with from somewhere and just now
saw the option org-agenda-compact-blocks was set. Fixed.


John

>
> Thanks for the input!
> John
>
>>
>> HTH,
>> --
>> Bernt
>>
>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

* Re: Input on organization of files for multiple projects?
  2011-07-22 20:57   ` John Hendy
  2011-07-22 21:05     ` John Hendy
@ 2011-07-22 21:35     ` Bernt Hansen
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 5+ messages in thread
From: Bernt Hansen @ 2011-07-22 21:35 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: John Hendy; +Cc: emacs-orgmode

John Hendy <jw.hendy@gmail.com> writes:

> On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:15 PM, Bernt Hansen <bernt@norang.ca> wrote:
>> John Hendy <jw.hendy@gmail.com> writes:
>>
>>> In any case, this works pretty well, but I think I'm becoming more and
>>> more sensitive to the fact that I'm not as interested in just tracking
>>> "journal" type entries. I now have bigger projects that are more
>>> coherent and on-going vs. just supporting other people's projects and
>>> noting what I contributed and test results. I find more often that I
>>> used C-a s to search for something and end up in a file a couple
>>> months back with some open todo items that I need to take care of.
>>>
>>> But then I run across and update or new data... and I find myself
>>> debating about whether to add it to 2011-05May.org or create a new
>>> timestamp for it in 2011-07Jul.org.
>>>
>>> So, I'm in the mood for input and suggestions. I've read a lot of the
>>> org tutorials (norang in particular), but not a lot quite put the
>>> whole picture out there -- how many files, how are they organized,
>>> etc. A lot of people describe having files per "activity" (writing,
>>> chores, research), but I'm in the same job, but contributing to
>>> perhaps 5 or so main projects as well as my ideas/brainstorming stuff
>>> (I work in R&D engineering/product development).
>>>
>>> I'm hoping to hear some input about big picture structuring, keeping
>>> track of year+ long projects, todo flows, if files have ever gotten
>>> too big (a fear of mine), if and how you archive, etc.
>>>
>>> I've thought of going to a structure with proj1.org, proj2.org, etc.
>>> and then archiving into an archive_yyyy.org with main headings for
>>> each project as I finish todos or as things get old. Or maybe I won't
>>> need to. Maybe an org file can survive an entire project and just get
>>> archived for reference when I'm done working on it. I'll probably
>>> still need some kind of "odds and ends" file for things that don't
>>> belong to a specific project.
>>
>> Hi John,
>>
>> I've been using org-mode for 5+ years now and I'm still using the same
>> structuring for tasks and notes that I originally set up.
>>
>
> Wow, seems like it's really working well, then!

I like it :)

>
>> I have a miscellaneous todo.org that I dump miscellaneous non-project
>> tasks into.
>
> Out of curiosity, are these just "loose" todos (no headlines or
> anything)? Maybe I'm a digitial neat freak, but having long lists like
> that without organization just bugs me. Or do you access almost all
> todos via agenda and so it doesn't really matter?

I don't keep loose todos at level 1.

Most of my org files have level 1 headlines for categories and tasks and
projects and tasks start at level 2.  If it's a miscellaneous todo I
file it under * Tasks which is basically a Miscellaneous list of tasks
associated with whatever file they are in.

When I have an involved multistep project I normally create subtasks to
level 4 or 5 when breaking down the project (which starts at level 1 or
2). I put these in whatever order makes sense for me and I can rearrange
stuff anytime I want.

I do access almost all of my TODO tasks from the agenda first so it
really doesn't matter where they are or what order things are in.  The
hierarchical view is mostly useful for collecting clocked time into a
single project.  The only critical part of accessing things from the
agenda is that they have the correct tag - but that's handled
automatically simply by refiling to the right org file.  I normally
filter tasks in the agenda by either tag (FILETAGS normally) or by using
restriction locks (which are still fairly new to my workflow).

>
>> Diary stuff goes in diary.org (i d in the agenda) and
>> anything that should be grouped together (for some definition of a
>> group) lives in a separate org file.  I archive old entries from X.org
>> to X.org_archive monthly.
>
> Good to know.
>
>>
>> I now dump org files into directories and the directories contribute to
>> org-agenda-files (so new files just show up as the are created), and I
>> can add/drop entire directories of org files from my agenda easily.
>
> I must have missed that directories work. Very cool and saves me
> having to add them manually all the time! This is great.

I switched to using directories a few months ago and disabled the C-c [
and C-c ] commands in the agenda (because this converts org-agenda-files
from directories back to a list of files which breaks my usecase)

>
>>
>> This has the advantage that I'm free to split or consolidate org files
>> anytime I want - the agenda will still find the entries as long as they
>> are in directories that contribute to the agenda.
>>
>> If you have 5 main projects that are unrelated I'd probably have one org
>> file for each project and group stuff in there in whatever order makes
>> sense to you.  I tend to keep project notes in project files.  When
>> notes for a project are generally useful I'll split that into a
>> notes-only org-file by itself and publish the results to HTML.
>
> I re-read your setup page on norang.ca, and it looks like it's
> actually a bit updated since I saw it last. I think I'll move in the
> project file direction and try to implement capture as well (haven't
> been using that at all). I'm still a little hazy on how this will all
> pan out, as I have really liked my "journal" method of documenting
> what I work on in terms of it making sense (just write what I did
> under a headline timestamped with today's date -- simple).

I _love_ capture mode with IDO refiling.  I capture new stuff usually to
refile.org and refile it once to whatever it is going to live
permanently.  Refiling with IDO is really nice once you figure out how
to actually use IDO :)

Occassionally I capture new tasks and file immediately to the current
clocking task with C-2 C-c C-w in the capture buffer (instead of C-c C-c)

> The on-going projects thing was the main irk I've had. It just
> *doesn't* make sense to update data or info on a headline from 2
> months ago when new information comes up. But I don't want to split
> the data, either. I've done that before and linked between different
> file headlines for ongoing data collection and it's a hassle to follow
> all those links around to compare data that should be in one place.

I would create a project for this ongoing task and new subtasks for each
time you have new stuff to work on for this ongoing project.  My recent
setup for archiving allows me to archive the old completed tasks for the
project which removes the old stuff to the archive.  I can always dig
information back out of there if I ever need it.

> In your block agenda view, how do you get the "====" line separating
> sections? Mine just pile on top of each other.

I don't suppress the separators in my block agenda.

Regards,
Bernt

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 5+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2011-07-22 21:35 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2011-07-22  2:33 Input on organization of files for multiple projects? John Hendy
2011-07-22  3:15 ` Bernt Hansen
2011-07-22 20:57   ` John Hendy
2011-07-22 21:05     ` John Hendy
2011-07-22 21:35     ` Bernt Hansen

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