Book idea: Thinking With Emacs

Posted: - Modified:

For: Beginner to intermediate Emacs users (non-technical backgrounds are okay) who want to use it for organizing what they know/think and learning more
Outcome: People can use this incredibly powerful although somewhat intimidatingly technical tool to aid their learning
Possible collaborator: Bill Zimmerly

The basics
Objective: Get people from 0 to 1
– Writing conventions used in this book
– How to install Emacs
– Basic concepts and keyboard shortcuts
– Some customization

How to Learn Emacs - v2 - Large



2014-02-27 Map for getting the hang of Emacs movement #emacs #map #guide

2014-02-27 Map for getting the hang of Emacs movement #emacs #map #guide

Objective: Help people get the hang of using Emacs as a text editor
Introduce structured writing with Org

– Writing
– Outlines
– Lists
– Tables
– Links
– Finding your way around

– Practical applications
– Planning your projects
– Exploring decisions

Objective: Quick win – helping people export their work into a form that other people can understand

– Exporting to HTML
– Exporting to other formats (LaTeX?)

Remembering and organizing
Objective: Capture those quick thoughts

Capturing thoughts
Organizing your thoughts

Practical examples:
– Keeping track of ideas
– Reading books
– Remembering solutions to problems

Planning your life
– Using Org for planning
– Reminders
– Regular reminders
– GTD and other ways of working

– Organizing your notes – thinking in terms of contexts, projects,

Working with numbers
– Why use Emacs instead of a calculator?
– Quick calculations using Emacs Lisp
– Org spreadsheet
– Calc

Saving time with shortcuts
– Making your own keyboard shortcuts
– Keyboard macros

2013-12-12 Plan - The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving Time with Emacs

Configuring Emacs
– Customize
– Your configuration file

Going beyond
Inspirational writing to encourage more use.

How and why Emacs becomes the center of many power users’ computer activity.

Extending Emacs
– Finding the source
– A quick primer on Emacs Lisp
– Interactively understanding code with Edebug
– Writing your own

2013-12-12 Plan - Getting started with Emacs Lisp

Modifying the way Emacs works

– Advice
– Changing behavior

Working with code
Additional tools for making sense of software projects?

Emacs, statistics, and research
Objective: Help people use Emacs to support research

Other notes: Org

2014-01-07 Map for learning Org Mode for Emacs

Thanks  to sahilsinha, timvisher,rknnv2, gozes, GlennRStreet, ScriptDevil, BalticPasta, berndweiss, krrrcks, emisshula, and others for feedback! =)


INTERESTED? WANT TO LEARN MORE? Comment below or e-mail me at and let’s talk about what you’re curious about. That will really help me turn this book idea into reality! =)

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