Sunday, January 3, 2010

Org-mode for note organization

New Year: new attempt at note organization

I am always trying to find the best way to organize my random work notes and tips that I tend to collect in various notebooks, post-its, etc. I started keeping a text file last year, which was rather plain-Jane, but did the trick. Kurt, however, just introduced me to org-mode in Emacs, and I love it! Org-mode is extremely powerful. You can insert date stamps, create tags and link across multiple entries, create levels and sublevels and fold/unfold sections, highlight code blocks according to the scripting language, etc. Included html links are active from the get-go, and you can even include equations, graphics, and tables. One of the best parts is that you can export to HTML, PDF (via LaTeX), and DocBook.

Here is a sample of what my notes look like in Aquamacs using org-mode. I have organized my notes by program/tool, but you could also organize by date and use org-mode to keep a daily log. On the org-mode website, you'll see tons of examples. You can also use org-mode as a task scheduler and day planner. The possibilities seem endless.

And here is the resulting HTML file (ignore the old dates, I imported my old notes from last year):

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