Mailing non-Emacs users your Org notes

Andras uses Emacs Org-mode to take notes during meetings, and wanted to know how to share those notes (including tables) with colleagues afterwards. Here are some tips for sharing Org notes with non-Org people.

You can copy the information as plain text. If you don’t have too much Org markup, you can copy and paste the text into your mail message. To get tables and other segments to line up nicely, make sure you format the text with a monospace font such as Courier New or Lucida Console.

You can export the information to HTML and then copy it into your message. Export the entire file with M-x org-export or export a region with M-x org-export-region-as-html. Save it to a file, open that file in your browser, then copy and paste the information. If you find yourself working with the same files often, consider using Org’s publishing support to simplify the creation of related HTML files.

You can also publish your notes on an internal or external blog. I post many of my notes on my blog (including this one!) using org2blog.el. If you publish your posts on a blog, you can send people a link, update your post with new information, and share your post with others.

Hope that helps!

  • Nice post! I’m now also using org-mode as one of my note-taking tools and I’m now trying to use org2blog.el as you’ve mentioned. However, it does not work for my ntemacs 23 on Windows 7 x64. After downloading the w3 package, w3-sysdp.el and xml-rpc.el, I could then call the org2blog/wp-login command, but it generated the following message and then quit:
    Reading [text/xml]… 739 bytes of 526 bytes (140%)
    Retrieval complete.
    Decoding (gzip)… done.
    xml-parse-tag: XML: (Not Well-Formed) Invalid end tag (expecting string) at pos 623

    I cannot figure out what’s wrong, could you please give some help? Thank you! :)

  • Sebastian

    I convert it to ODT with org-odt.el and resave it as a .doc. That is usefull, especially for longer documents.

  • Sebastian: I hadn’t checked out org-odt.el before. Thanks for the tip! I love how people keep adding all sorts of nifty things to Emacs. =)

    Orlando: Not sure, but perhaps you can check with punchagan (the author) to see what’s going on…

  • Sebastian: Thanks for your recommendation. I just tried org-odt.el. The export is successful and the typesetting effect is perfect.

    Sacha: Thanks for your advice. org-odt.el is included in the current Org 7.7 package, in the subfolder “contrib/lisp”. You can give it a try.

  • dim

    You might be interested into the following:

    org-mime can be used to send HTML email using Org-mode HTML export.

    This approximates a WYSiWYG HTML mail editor from within Emacs, and can be useful for sending tables, fontified source code, and inline images in email.

  • Scott

    If you have a TeX installation, then you can export notes to a PDF. I do this all of the time.

  • Sebastian

    It is also possibe to export as plain text (e.g. in ascii or utf8) via ‘c-c e’. This converts your org markup to plain text and/or saves it as a plain .txt file. After that it’s easy to paste everything into a text-only email. I like the somewhat “plain” look of ascii text, so I prefer this method over html or odt/doc export. After all, org is very, very versatile…

  • Yeah, Org is totally awesome. =)