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Re: [emacs-humanities] Emacs "Projects" management?

From: William Denton
Subject: Re: [emacs-humanities] Emacs "Projects" management?
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2021 19:42:37 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.22 (DEB 394 2020-01-19)

On 5 October 2021, Alan Davis wrote:

What do I want to do?  I want to keep a large set of "projects," some
larger, some quite small.  One project involves little writing, but some
coding in the gri graphing language, and some work with data on tides.  I
also have been learning to post process digital photographs, including some
that are for a long-time study of reproduction of a coral, microscope
photographs, as well as collections of PDFs and various outlines and
writing.  Other projects include articles, and---importantly---the
beginnings of collections of notes about various topics.  Some of these
involved greater or lesser amounts of background information, graphics,
PDFs, notes, bibliographic notes, etc.

Sounds like a great set of uses for Org mode! I usually keep one Org file for each project I'm working on, and I use it to record notes (often datestamped, like a diary) and anything else, sometimes with code to be executed. Org is pretty simple to start with if you just use it for outlining, but then as you get to know it you can do very powerful and complicated things with it. If there are a lot of associated files with a project, like a big collection of PDFs or images, I might keep notes on them in Org but would generally keep them outside, though I might have scripts to manage them in the Org file.

Org is great for managing a project on the go, with TODOs and such, and then when the project is over, you can export it to LaTeX and now you've got a nice PDF that looks like a very readable article or book. All customizable, of course.

Others mentioned Projectile and how it picks up on version control systems, but can also just drop a .projectile file in a directory, and that makes Projectile see it.

That works nicely with ibuffer, a builtin that I use when I want to see all the open buffers. I have this in my init file so it's run when I use C-x C-b:

(defalias 'list-buffers 'ibuffer)

Now when I look at my buffer list, which I do a lot, everything is in groups. I use this to see project files more than Projectile commands.

All these things combine to make sure that like is with like, and that once I'm working on something it's easy to keep track of what I'm doing and all the files that are involved.


William Denton
Librarian, artist and licensed private investigator.
Toronto, Canada

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