eclair, etc. : Techie Stuff


A Newbie's Thoughts on Using Planner Mode on Emacs

I have been looking for an easy way to organize my thoughts, especially at work. I have tried using all sorts of sticky notes to remind me of stuff. I had sticky notes on my table, on my computer's desktop and on the web. But something was not enough about them to remind me of the things I had to do and other things I needed to remember. And I never really enjoyed using Outlook because it was too slow for me. The GUI seems to clutter everything. In my thinking, that is. I like cute things, I love eye candy but it wasn't making me very productive. That is one of the reasons why I had to delete my very cute corkboard application. It wasn't a very effective way for me to remember stuff. Until one day I got around to trying out the Notebook, a starkit application I got online. It's basically a wiki-like application which I used to take notes. But I found the clicking icons, yaddah yaddah tedious and so I decided to try out Emacs Planner Mode. I got the idea from Sacha Chua who is using it for her blog=) It's more like a combination of Planner Mode, Emacs Wiki and Remember.el that is. I installed it one time that I couldn't compile Tomboy (another wiki-like note-taking app) and I got hooked.

I haven't really done anything fancy with Planner. Some people have been hacking it and they are talking about it on the mailing list. Me, I just use it right now because I am still in the process of organizing my life and planning stuff. But I really like the nifty things that people have been doing with Planner. Like keeping track of how much time you spend on certain tasks, configuring it such that Rmail is integrated with it, using the Insiduous Big Brother Database (with which I have trouble installing because of the problem I have with one of the files) and so on. That is the beauty of Emacs, I guess=) That it is so flexible that you could do all sorts of things with it by tweaking some ELISP code here and there, by adding a few lines to your .emacs file and off you go. There seem to be a lot of very creative people out there who could write bits and pieces of code to make Emacs Planner mode and Emacs Wiki help other people organize their lives. Just checking on the progress of the mailing list is enough proof that Emacs Wiki and Planner Mode are indeed very useful things that help us in our day to day living. I for example am finding it easier to keep track of my personal notes because of Emacs Wiki and Remember. Whenever I type M-x remember and start writing my notes, just like this entry and save it when I hit C-c C-c and type in the wiki word of where I want this to be saved in, I have my notes organized. I don't have to freak out that I forgot the file name. Wiki words or Wiki names that I made make it easy for me to group my thoughts. And they are cross-referenced on the Today page of Planner. I find that very wonderful indeed. I guess that is one of the reasons why I can't bring myself to use Kontact anymore (laughs). If only I have no problem installing BBDB here, then I would be on a roll! Really, I swear. And now that I have said my piece on using Planner, I could go back to my tasks and get them completed.

Links to:
  • Emacs
  • Emacs for Windows
  • Notebook
  • My Corkboard
  • Emacs Planner Quick Start
  • Emacs Wiki
  • Big Brother DataBase
  • Sacha Chua's blog