π

Org-Mode As a Rabbit Hole: Agenda Tasks Piling Up

Show Sidebar

I stumbled over a very interesting discussion where users of Emacs Org-mode are describing various approaches to avoid very long lists of agenda tasks.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I also got the issue that unfinished tasks pile up in my agenda view. I do everything within Org-mode and too many things I do find interesting. Therefore, I also have the need to cope with this problem as well.

Limit Number of Agenda Files

Limit the number of agenda files for general appointment and tasks only, not having all Org-mode files in it, is surely a way to get rid of tasks. However, you have to make sure that nothing important gets lost.

Also mentioned: a cool summary on using Org-mode with the GTD method.

Somebody with the same approach having 3405 Org-mode files :-O

Do Not Forward Unfinished Tasks to the next Day

A quite interesting comment was the use of the Bullet Journal Model which I did not come across before. Bullet Journal is a neat analog system which works with pen and paper. It seems to be really easy to learn and apply. You might give it a try.

Tasks do not get piled up in your agenda using this method because you don't automatically move them to the next day in case you did not finish them. This system works with daily, weekly, and monthly reviews of old (and future) tasks, similar to GTD.

Visualization Outside of Emacs

Somebody installed kanboard which gives a visual overview.

Separation

This comment suggests separating work, personal, and other via tags.

A Better Agenda: org-super-agenda

This one mentioned an overlay on the usual Org-mode agenda called org-super-agenda which I happen to include in my setup yesterday. It offers an easy to configure agenda view that separates things using different sections. This should be included in the Org-mode source, in my opinion.

Regularly Scatter Tasks

I added a comment myself: the scatter feature of Org-mode. org-agenda-bulk-action offers many things. One of them is the bulk feature with its options. One option of the bulk menu is scattering marked entries over a defined period of days.

In your agenda, mark some tasks using the m key. Then you invoke the bulk operation menu with the B key. In this menu, you're using the scatter function S and choose a time-range in days.

The marked tasks get scattered randomly over the next days.

This does not get your tasks finished earlier but might be a handy function to get your agenda smaller for a specific day without losing tasks.

Declare Org-mode Bankruptcy

Some of the comments were written from people who have stopped using Org-mode altogether.

I can not understand the rationale behind this decision since they seem to have settled with a far less capable system. If some features of Org-mode do not support my requirements, I simply choose not to use those features while sticking to the other ones that work for me.

And Now?

While I do find the Bullet Journal quite sexy, I want to start with the org-super-agenda which I included in my setup.

Additionally, I've got the feeling that I do have to start with daily, weekly, and monthly reviews. This is a big step to me because I tried to avoid this in the past for various reasons.

Comment via email or via Disqus comments below: