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Re: [O] Feature Request: Time Line in Lab Book

From: John Hendy
Subject: Re: [O] Feature Request: Time Line in Lab Book
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 14:44:16 -0500

On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Dominik Schrempf
<address@hidden> wrote:
> Hello,


> A possible example:
> * February 2016
> February 10th: Some text and stuff in February 2016.
> ** TODO A task to be done. Filed on February 10th.
>    E.g., February 24th: Some text that should belong to the task only.
>    I could not work on this task before February 18th.
> February 18th: Some more text belonging to February 2016 and not to the
> task.
> * March 2016

Like Eric, I'm a little confused of what you would want instead. The
above is great for what currently happens, but could you do a similar
example of what you want? You ask if this "feature" exists, but I'm
not sure what it would be... all I can envision as a modification to
above is:

* Feb 2016

Feb 10th: blah blah blah notes

Feb 18th: blah blah notes

** TODO filed feb 10th, but *done* on 2/24

> And so on.  Maybe this feature does already exist, but I am not aware of
> it.  I know that especially upon export, this is hard to realize,
> because all text always belongs to the previous headline.  But maybe it
> is worth thinking about it because at least to me this would be highly
> useful (e.g., having different styles in HTML export for the text under
> the task and the text of the top level, the time line).

I've wrestled with this a lot myself, at least if I put this in the
bucket of "what's the *best* way to organize an org file." To expand
on Nick's comments, something can only be in one hierarchy at a time,
and everything afterward will live in that parent/child, unless you
start a new sibling. The downside is you can't "escape" a current
sub-heading to return to "just the parent heading" again. I've not
quite wrestled with that, but moreso the desire to have one thing live
in several places at the same time. I posted some structure questions
when I migrated from TiddlyWiki in 2010; you could take a look at
these threads if you're interested:
- https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2010-03/msg00390.html
- http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2011-07/msg01173.html

If your example is accurate, why not make everything it's own
headline? The notes from 2/18 wouldn't, then, "belong" to the todo
filed on 2/10 and completed on 2/24. You'd just have:

** Feb 10
blah blah
** TODO Feb 10 something
Notes about task
** Feb 18
blah blah

It seems the core of your issue is not being certain on whether or not
you want the TODO to be represented in the date tree according to
creation or completion. That, or you don't like that you have to
decouple the todo itself and your notes about it, which would lead to
separate entries, one for the todo on 2/10 and one for the notes about
what you did to complete it on 2/24. Are any of those accurate? I
think clarification would be helpful if I've missed what you're
wrestling with.

I've taken to a pure datetree for notes, with inline todos for
anything that comes up in the context of something else (and which I
want to keep in that context). So:

* Meeting about blah      :tag:
 [2016-03-31 Thu]

Notes here about thing

************* TODO some task

Notes I did about this todo
************* END

Otherwise, I have a separate tree just for tasks where I don't care if
they're decoupled from their context. It's just a headline called
"Tasks" which is my dumping ground for todos. My actual org file looks
like this:

* Tasks
** todo something 1
** todo something 2

* Journals
** 2016 March
*** Something
[2016-03-31 Thu]


*** Something else
[2016-03-30 Wed]


For the tasks, I often just delete them as I don't care, but for ones
where I've noted progress about them, I use C-c C-x A to archive them
in a subtree of "Tasks." Then I could search for the info in them down
the road if I want. I've also started just adding time stamps and
updates to other month's headlines if the activity is a continuation
of when it started. So maybe:

* Journals
** 2016 Feb
*** Experiment for projA
[2016-02-10 Wed]

Set up this experiment today...

[2016-03-02 Wed]
Ran a modified version of this experiment today... (and so on)

Hope that helps a little... I love thinking about org file strategies,
so please keep the thoughts coming if you'd like to discuss more!


> Thanks and best wishes,
> Dominik

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