This article is in English because of my friends in the LinkedIn GTD group. I recently had the idea that I should produce some screencast tutorial for OrgMode because then I can show how things work and this is maybe more helpful than just writing about it.
The first shot I tried on June 01. I was very optimistic and tried to record a whole episode in one run, but then learned that its not so easy to do when you have 2 kids in the house that come and interrupt you from time to time. So after 3 attempts I have made a video, but looking at it on YouTube was not so nice, blurred image, wrong screen resolution because I recorded what happened on my 1280×1024 monitor and difficult to follow. So if you want to see that bad video, click on this link.
So I decided to do this again. Better hopefully and shorter. I spend some days to record smaller pieces (snippets) that just introduce one or two basic concepts and then stop until the next snippet. I tried to prepare a lot in advance so that the person that watches the video doesn’t get bored by just watching me typing things. And I switched to the 1920×1080 monitor. This also had the advantage, that now I can show the Emacs window and besides that I can show some documentation of what I want to introduce in this snippet. So the documentation is on the left side of the screen and the demonstration is on the right side.
I also installed key-mon, that’s a nice applet that hovers on top of all windows and shows what special keys I’m pressing on the keyboard. So people can see, what key combinations I press and what happens. Emacs is an acronym for „Escape-Meta-Alt-Control-Shift“, you know? So for the rework of episode 1 I created 5 snippets.
Before starting to record I had to do some small customization to emacs:
;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom.
;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
'(org-agenda-files (quote ("~/mylife.org"))))
(setq load-path (append (list (expand-file-name "/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/org")) load-path))
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.org\\'" . org-mode))
(global-set-key "\C-cl" 'org-store-link)
(global-set-key "\C-ca" 'org-agenda)
(global-set-key "\C-cb" 'org-iswitchb)
(global-set-key (kbd "<f6>") 'org-capture)
So this is what you need in your „~/.emacs“ file to get the basic customization for orgmode. Then I recorded the snippets:
- Snippet 01 is all about headlines and the outline mode in OrgMode. And about visibility cycling. It also covers how to move headlines up and down or how to refile a headline under another headline.
- Snippet 02 introduces the ToDo keywords. We start with the defaults „TODO“ and „DONE“ and extend them to a set of keywords that fit better into the concept of „Getting things done“.
- Snippet 03 is about schedules, deadlines and we introduce the agenda view. Agenda views are great to cherry pick from you big bucket of ToDo’s and prestent you what you have scheduled for now.
- Snippet 04 covers repeating tasks. It introduces the concept of scheduling new occurences automatically once a task is marked as done.
- Snippet 05 introduces checklists. I present my system for a daily plan by creating a datetree and a simple ToDo checklist for every day.
So after reworking the first episode I think, that the new format with the snippets is better because the video quality is much better with the new setup. And using the documentation on the left side of the screen the viewer can see what I’m talking about. Also key-mon proved to be very helpful. What I didn’t achive was to be shorter. The bad first attempt took almost 32 minutes, but if I sum up all 5 snippets of the rework, I’m ending up at somewhat around 40 minutes.
So for the next episode I need to prepare better I think and maybe limit the topics to just one or two. Would be nice if you leave a comment with suggestions, so that I can improve.