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OrgMode tutorial – Episode 7

Yesterday evening I uploaded the 5th snippet of my tutorial episode 7. So here is the blog post for that. Sorry that it took so long, I have to reconsider the format of the videos in 2018 and proabably increase the pace again.

Snippet 01 – Bulk agenda actions

In the E07S01 snippet I showed how to use bulk agenda actions for making handling stuff easier. I use this function every week when I write the weekly report to my boss. All newly captured actions get a Tag „:NEW:“ from the template, so when writing a report I can easily use a custom agenda view that selects all actions with this „NEW“ tag. When the report is done its just „*“ to mark them all and then „B“(bulk) „-“ (remove tag) to get rid of those „NEW“ tags.

Snippet 02 – Presenting my system

In the E07S02 snippet I present, how my productive OrgMode system is structured and working. This was recorded one year ago today and I’m still using this system, just made some minor improvements meanwhile.

Snippet 03 – Google Calendar Integration

In the E07S03 snippet I show how I make my google calendar entries appear in my agenda views. Its just a simple one way road from Google calendar towards the agenda view. Enough for my needs.

Snippet 04 – Source code in OrgMode

In the E07S04 snippet I talk about embedding source code into org files. This can be done to automate things by embedding and executing small pieces of shell scripts in your org file (I use this to download backups from a cloud server) or you can embed diagrams. At work I use this feature to create my process documentation by embedding UML source and then use PlantUML to produce the UML diagrams from that source.

Snippet 05 – Goal setting & Goal Tracking

New years day is coming up, so its time for the E07S05 snippet to talk about goals, setting and tracking. I made 2 approaches, one to set a property value „Goal“ for every action that I consider to be a goal. Then I created a custom view for my weekly review to show me the goals or even actions that have no value assigned to the „Goal“ property. That custom agenda code looks like this:

 ("g" "Weekly Goals Review"
 ((tags "Goal=\"Long\""
 ((org-agenda-overriding-header "Long term goals")))
 (tags "Goal=\"Medium\""
 ((org-agenda-overriding-header "Medium term goals")))
 (tags "Goal=\"Short\""
 ((org-agenda-overriding-header "Short term goals")))
 (tags-todo "Goal=\"\""
 ((org-agenda-overriding-header "Actions that don't contribute to a goal yet"))))
 ((org-agenda-files
 (quote
 ("~/org/mylife.org" "~/org/mywork.org"))))
 nil)

This piece of code needs to be pasted into your „org-agenda-custom-commands“ structure. With that you get your goals listed. If you don’t considered an action to be a „goal“ you can set its Goal property value to „None“, so it does no longer appear in this view.

The second approach is to create an own file dedicated  to goals, named „goals.org“. So I created a template text file that looks like this:

* GOAL %^{Describe your goal}
 Recorded on %U - Last reviewed on %U
 :SMART:
 :Specific: %^{What is the purpose of this goal}
 :Measureable: %^{How can you measure it}
 :Activity: %^{What activity do we need to do} 
 :Resources: %^{What resources do we need}
 :Timebox: %^{What time do we need to spend on that}
 :END:
 :Actions:
 Links to actions that support this goal:
 :END:

This creates an entry in the goals file when the capture template is called. I call this template from a bunch of „org-capture-template“ entries.

("g" "Goals") 
("ge" "Epic goals" entry (file+headline "~/org/goals.org" 
"Epic goals") (file "~/org/tpl-goal.txt") :empty-lines-after 1) 
("gl" "Long term goal (2-5 years from now)" entry (file+headline "~/org/goals.org" 
"Long term goals") (file "~/org/tpl-goal.txt") :empty-lines-after 1) 
("gm" "Medium term goal (6 months up to 2 years)" entry (file+headline "~/org/goals.org" 
"Medium term goals") (file "~/org/tpl-goal.txt") :empty-lines-after 1) 
("gs" "Short term goals (next 6 months)" entry (file+headline "~/org/goals.org" 
"Short term goals") (file "~/org/tpl-goal.txt") :empty-lines-after 1))

So the Goals key „g“ opens a submenu where I can decide if I want to enter an „epic goal“, a „long term“, „medium term“ or „short term“ goal.

The important thing of this capture template is that I tried to force me into thinking about „S.M.A.R.T“ criteria for the goals I set for myself.


The road ahead

Looking at the frequency of my orgmode videos I see the need to change something. Meanwhile I have enough equipment to do live streaming as well and the 5th snippet was recoreded in OpenBroadcastStudio instead of just screen capturing with Vokoscreen.

So my idea is to abandon those „episodes“ because more than one year for 5 snippets is way too much time. I will see what I can come up with next year, maybe just short videos about stuff that you ask or maybe a live session. Live session is complicated to schedule because the world is not flat and we have time zones.

Thanks for all the likes, comments and suggestions. I whish you a relaxing holiday season and a perfect start into 2018.

Autor: Rainer

Diplom-Informatiker, Baujahr 1961, Vater von 2 Kindern, Hundehalter, Sportschütze und Vereinsvorstand, Hobbymusiker (mit zweifelhaftem Erfolg), politisch interessiert, Leseratte, Freizeit-Philosoph und letztlich Blogger.

1 Kommentar

  1. After 20 years of vim, I’m pretty much hooked on (spac)emacs since a week.

    Thanks for your great content. I’m trying to gain speed since March 17th now. And it’s rather. There are people who see Emacs as a separate skill you have to train on separately from whatever you want to achieve with Emacs. And it seems true. That really bugs me, even though Evil makes it easier… truly appreciate your stuff. Without your content I would have given up already. 😉 R