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[Orgmode] question and use example

From: Paul Menair
Subject: [Orgmode] question and use example
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 12:38:29 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


I've been struggling with something and thought I'd ask you folks.

I'm an attorney.  I use org-mode for various things, because it's convenient, 
simple and flexible.  And most case management software for lawyers is awful.  
Anyway, one of the things I do in org is keep my time.  

The ordinary timekeeping function in org is interesting and neat in some ways, 
but not useful for my purposes.  I need to provide my employer with a set of 
timeslips, where each record consists of a date, client name, description, and 
time interval in decimal form.  Everything that I've tried that attempts to 
"help" me do this fails in one way or another.  The solution I have is a table 
in org that is set up like this:

| date | client | desc | [time]--[time] | H:M | x.x |

Org is perfect for this because it does what no other time and billing solution 
I've seen does -- it lets me just record two timestamps in plain text and get 
an interval.  The only other piece of software I've ever seen that does this 
was a calendar program that let you do this in its notes field.

My problem is this.  I populate the fifth field with c-- c-u c-y.  I would be 
nice if it happened automatically, but that's no big deal.  However, I've been 
going through and manually entering the sixth field, and that does end up being 
a hassle.

Calc seems to only work on timestamps and not have any straight way to convert 
H:M to decimal.  I suppose I could keep my in and out timestamps in separate 
fields and figure out a way to have calc work on them, but it seems like there 
should be an easier solution.

Any thoughts?  In any event, I thought it might be of interest for folks to see 
a use case from a non-engineering professional.


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