org-mode is a fantastic tool for keeping notes, ToDos / reminders, writing documentation, publishing a blog, and more. While I haven't used Emacs continuously for coding I've used org-mode for notes and things since I first picked it up.
There are lots of ways to organize your information with org-mode. It's a
powerful tool that doesn't impose a specific way of doing things. Org-mode's
agenda functionality can pull out scheduled dates, deadlines etc. from any number
org-agenda-files - so you aren't restricted to keeping reminders and ToDos in
one place (but you can if you want to!). Many add-on packages exist that help
implement specific workflows, which may or may not suit you.
Among other things, you can:
- Keep per-project / topic files, with long-form notes, and To-Dos and other agenda items within them.
- Keep few specific agenda files, containing all of your reminders and dated To-Dos, with lengthy notes elsewhere.
- Use a tool like deft which allows easy creation and search across a large number of org files. Forget where you put things, and just search.
- Use a tool like org-journal and keep part, or all, of your notes in
day-by-day, or week-by-week journal format. The
org-agendastill lets you easily work with ToDos and things you created back in time.
- Use a tool like org-roam that concentrates on connections between notes.
…And of course, you can combine different approaches. Maybe you choose to keep per-project org files for work, but keep all your personal thoughts, notes, and reminders in journal format.
Because there are so many possibilities with org-mode it takes time to find what fits you, unless you are lucky and happen upon it straight away. Some nice resources to see how others do things, for inspiration, include:
- A nice video that uses org-roam
- A detailed look at a flow based around an 'inbox'
- A structured flow with clocking, capture, and refiling
- Somewhat overwhelming detail about organizing pretty much everything with org-mode
There are many more of these if you search for terms like "org-mode workflow" on the web, reddit etc. It's well worth taking a look to pick up interesting ideas and things to try out. No doubt you'll end up with a final solution different to anyone else. That's part of the beauty of Emacs and org-mode, that you can spend ages customize things to your needs, or just use a subset of standard features that work for you.
I've never been a person for a very rigid structure, so I don't use an inbox with refiling, capture templates, clocking etc. I have looked at org-roam and other stuff, but settled a little while back on the following:
- Keep all my org-mode content inside
$HOMEdirectory, synced via Nextcloud (or syncthing… depending on my mood for the month).
- For personal stuff, I keep a few org files as part of my
org-agenda-files,separated by broad topics like 'household', 'garden', 'computers'. ToDos / reminders go in these.
- For work stuff, I have a single
TODO.orgfile tracking work tasks.
- Use deft to create a lot of single-topic org files in an
Org/Notessubdir. These are notes on anything, which I can search through easily. This covers most of my org-mode content.
- Use org-journal to occasionaly keep dated records of what I've done on a given day, when I feel that's important.
- Use ox-publish for this blog…see more about this here
Have fun finding your org-mode routine!
This post is day 16 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge.
If you want to get involved, you can get more info from https://100daystooffload.com.