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Organize Your Life With Org-Mode

Karl Voit:

Never in my life have I seen a more beautiful piece of software that scales well from very simple note taking to the most complex workflows you can imagine. Its community is awesome, you can meet the most nicest people.

To me, Org-mode solves things like simple todo lists, note taking, project management, spreadsheet calculations, calendar, contact management, file management, blogging system, knowledge base, quantified self, lifelogging, reference management, bookmark collection and so forth.

Org-mode has ended my search for most of the things I use a computer for. There’s nothing like it.

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  1. I’ve seen mention of this software many times before. I looked through the documentation some and found detailed descriptions of the trees, but where is the forest? Is it a computer running Linux? In Wikipedia I saw some mention of using it with Android, others with IOS. Where would one go to get a taste of using such software?

    • Ron, Org-mode is just a “mode” of the Emacs editor. If you’re familiar with Markdown, it could be considered a super-fancy version of that. Org files are just plain text with a specific markup format. Org-mode then processes these files in all sorts of interesting ways. It can be super simple, and incredibly powerful.

      Unfortunately, there are a couple of pretty big downsides. Or maybe I should call them barriers to entry.

      First, you need to use Emacs in order to use Org-mode, and that can be quite daunting. I use the Spacemacs customization of Emacs (https://spacemacs.org), and have grown to love it, but only after significant effort.

      Second, it’s not very mobile-friendly. I use an iOS app called “Beorg” to view my Org files but that’s it. I have no experience with it on Android but I have heard that it’s not much better there. This can understandably be a deal-breaker for many.

      I usually tell people that if they’re willing to suffer in the short term it’s very much worth it later. Getting there can be a fun, fascinating experience. Or, it can be a nightmare of frustration :).

      • Okay! Mobile isn’t a big requirement for me. Being a tax accountant, Windows is my main platform, on a PC and I also have an HP Win laptop that I inherited from a buddy of mine. When I built my very first website in 1995, I remember a sys admin who helped me a lot with server stuff was using Emacs on his Linux machine and he really loved it. I clicked on your spacemacs link and got one of those Google warnings about “your connection isn’t private” and better go back. So I googled spacemacs and read some about it and got someone else’s link to spacemacs, which was just the same as yours, but with no s at the end of http. It opened a beautiful page all about it with a FAQ and a link to special things about Windows. So I guess it’s something I could try out on my Win PC. I might give it a try for some fun and possible nightmares. Thanks!

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