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[Orgmode] Interpretation of priorities in org-mode

From: Piotr Zielinski
Subject: [Orgmode] Interpretation of priorities in org-mode
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 18:53:37 +0100


I'd like to find out how different people use priorities (#A, #B, ...)
in org-mode.  I've always assumed the standard interpretation (#A =
high priority, #B = medium, #C = low).  However, the problem with this
approach is that what "high priority" means is not well defined, and
if you are not careful, then all your items will quickly become high
priority, which defeats the whole point.

I've been recently experimenting with a different interpretation of
priorities: #B = tasks to do today, #C = tasks to do this week, #D =
all the rest, default.  #A is reserved at the moment.  One good thing
about this system is a clearer interpretation of priorities.  Another is
that it separates the action of inserting new items into your todo
list and that of assigning a particular priority to them.  In
particular, at the beginning of each day, you can look at your list of
todos/deadlines/scheduled, and pick a few to complete on that day by
giving them the #B priority.  At any time of the day, the agenda will
show you these #B items clearly separated from the rest.  Previously,
I had to do a mental rescanning of the agenda items each time I
was wondering "what do I have to do now", which was rather stressful.

Of course, I've tried this only for a couple of days, so my
conclusions might be completely bogus.  Maybe there is a better way
than priorities to mark items as "to complete today".  I'd definitely
like to know what others think about it.

One more thing: it is nice to be able to separate items with different
priorities in an agenda view by some lines like '======= #A ======='
or similar.  I've also found it useful to separate deadlines from
scheduled items.  Your can use the following code to achieve this:

(defadvice org-finalize-agenda-entries (before local-org-finalize activate)
   (loop for (text priority) in '(("Scheduled        " 1400)
                                   ("Deadlines        " 2000)
                                   ("This week    (#C)" 2900)
                                   ("Today        (#B)" 3900)
                                   ("Top priority (#A)" 4900))
          do (push (org-add-props
                       (format "=========== %s ==========" text)
                       nil 'priority priority)

(defadvice org-agenda-get-deadlines (after local-org-get-deadlines activate)
  (dolist (item ad-return-value)
    (put-text-property 0 (length item)
                       'priority (+ 500 (get-text-property 0 'priority item))


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