Org Mode is a personal information manager for the Emacs text editor. People have contributed a ton of useful features to it over the years, and the development shows no sign of slowing down. One of the features I’ve been playing around with is the ability to track habits.
Org habits are recurring tasks. For example, everyday, I want to:
- take my vitamins
- capture a quick note about the day, and
- plan the next day
Every week, I want to:
- talk to my mom
- check the org-mode mailing list
- write a weekly review and plan the next week
- clear and reorganize my belt bag
- clear my inbox
- write a bunch of blog posts
- back up my computer
Once a month, I want to:
- update the topical index for my blog
- review and uninstall programs
- balance my books and update my budget
- review the past month and plan the next
- check the library for new books
Org habits let me manage my task list without cluttering future days with tasks. The Org agenda view displays habits that are due today, indicating consistency with colour. In particular, it shows overdue days in red, so you can get the Seinfeld-esque pleasure/commitment-device of not breaking the chain.
Here’s a view from Sunday:
2 days-agenda (W19-W20): Sunday 13 May 2012 8:00...... ---------------- 10:00...... ---------------- 12:00...... ---------------- 14:00...... ---------------- 15:57...... now - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16:00...... ---------------- 18:00...... ---------------- organizer: 22:00...... TODO Capture a one-sentence note ! organizer: 22:00...... TODO Plan the next day ** ***** ** *****! organizer: Scheduled: TODO Make a list of recipes I want to learn organizer: Scheduled: TODO Write a bunch of blog posts :writing: organizer: Scheduled: TODO Set up WordPress as my backup system Monday 14 May 2012 W20 organizer: Scheduled: TODO Build Emacs interface so that I can have Org automatically switch my tasks
To use Org habits, customize
org-modules and enable the habit module. To set something as a habit, use
C-c C-x p (
org-set-property) to set the
STYLE property to
habit. For more information, you should definitely check out the Org manual’s section on habits.
Yay Emacs and the people who contribute to it!