Generating a table of projects and their actions

| emacs, org

Here’s how I generated my list of 101 short-term goals.

First, I brainstormed the list of goals in an org-mode file. Each goal
is represented by a level-2 outline heading. Current projects are
tagged :PROJECT:. The goals are grouped under level-1 outline
headings, like this:

 * Reading, Writing, and Sharing
 ** 30. Write and publish a 350-page book about Emacs :PROJECT:

Then I went through all of the goals and added next actions to each of them.

 * Reading, Writing, and Sharing
 ** 30. Write and publish a 350-page book about Emacs :PROJECT:
 *** TODO 30min Write another blog post about Emacs.

This made it easy to keep track of my finished tasks. Whenever I
finished a next action, I’d mark a task as DONE and create another
task in the same project. (Hey, I can automate that bit…)

To generate the list of next actions for projects without including
the finished tasks, I used C-c C-v (org-show-todo-tree). I found that
command by typing M-x org-show- and letting icomplete-mode show me the
possible functions.

Then I exported the visible tree to a temporary buffer with C-c C-e v
SPC (org-export, visible, keep buffer). I used re-builder to test a
regular expression that combined the project headline with the task
headline. I then copied the regular expression into a short Lisp
program that replaced all the matching lines with the table row. I
then exported this with C-c C-e H (org-export, HTML to buffer) and
edited the page a little before saving it to a file.

This ability to quickly parse and massage the data into the form I
want is one of the things that I love about Emacs. =)

Random Emacs symbol: debugger-setup-buffer – Function: Initialize the `*Backtrace*’ buffer for entry to the debugger.

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