The Wonderful World of Emacs – planner.el — emacs, planner

Migs, the one who wrote in recently about non-working Year2003,
Year2002 and Year2001 links, has this to ask:

I’m very curious as to how you get so much done with a
console based (?) text editor. Like do you have sort of summary view
of your calendar, tasks, etc in emacs? Maybe you can post a few
screenshots of what you look at everyday. Personally, I’d be lost
without an app like Evolution or Korganizer. I can’t imagine how you
manage all that with emacs.

Migs, that is precisely it. =) planner.el is an Emacs module that
gives me a summary view of my tasks, schedule, and notes inside Emacs
(which incidentally has a nice graphical interface, too). Together
with emacs-wiki.el, it lets me easily manage my website. Another
ultra-handy thing is M-x remember from remember.el, which pops up a
buffer asking me what I want to remember and stores a note in my daily
planner page. For example, this is one such note created by
remember.el. A patch contributed by Thomas Gehrlein allows easy
navigation of planner pages – simply select dates from M-x calendar.

Personally, I prefer this text-file-based system to Evolution or
Korganizer. I remember dropping down to M-x grep to quickly search for
something in my daily planner files. I can backup my data files in a
.tar.gz. I can perform diffs and version control (although I haven’t
gotten around to doing so yet! =) ). I can even run it in
conjunction with the Remembrance Agent.

My tasks and notes can be linked to my address book through BBDB
integration with Planner, and I’ve modified the BBDB url support to
take advantage of certain fields in my database. For example, typing
Sacha Chua results in the
following link: Sacha Chua. Locally, this brings up the address book
record that matches that regular expression. On the Web, it is
transformed into a URL following these rules of preference: blog, web,
e-mail. That allows me to link to other people and even sites much
more easily than HTML or the usual blogging systems might let me do,
since HTML and still require me to type the
URLs to which I want to link.

Because all of these things run inside GNU Emacs, I can easily
access all of my data. I can embed Emacs LISP code into my planner
files and have them automatically evaluated and displayed. I can
switch to my planner file easily from my IRC chat session or from my
mail. I can hook into built-in Emacs functionality or make use of
modules developed by other people. It’s tons of fun!

And I didn’t even write planner.el. Ubercoder John Wiegley did. I
discovered planner.el around 2001.11.03. I liked it so much I e-mailed
John Wiegley to volunteer tech support and bugfixing for it, and he
suggested that I take over maintaining planner.el
instead. (2002.11.21) Open source is so much fun! =)

To see a sample of the text files I work with, you can check out my
planner directory at .
The published files are listed at

People interested in duplicating my setup may want to check out my
configuration files. They are all found in my notebook/emacs/
directory. Files of interest are planner-config.el,
emacs-wiki-config.el, and remember-config.el. Please write to me
at [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions, and
don’t hesitate to ask for help in setting up a wonderful personal
information management system in Emacs.