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

From: Dominik Schrempf
Subject: Re: [O] Feature Request: Time Line in Lab Book
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2016 15:12:01 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Hi John,

thanks for your long answer.  I could take out a lot of it.  I think I
did not describe my problem well although all of you seemed to guess it!
Just a short rephrase with vocabulary from your posts:

I want a logbook/journal where I always append text about new stuff to
the end.  Only, when I work on a task that has arisen before, I file
this text under this task.  This text should belong to the task only.
Text after the task should belong to the top level (but this is not
possible as you pointed out).

The thing is, I can't really do this with headings only, because I often
append text after a task in the same minute and it does not make sense
to create a new headline then.  I now use drawers to achieve this.  That
was not intuitive to me but it seems to work well!  I can now fold the
task-specific text under the tasks.  If I expand all text but the
drawers, I get the view that I wanted (at least within Emacs).

The setup would be perfect if I could file tasks without headlines, kind
of (is this clear?).  This may correspond to what you called "inline
tasks" (because I want my tasks to show up next to where I take my

Top level entries.  This is all very interesting (A).

** TODO A task bla bla.
   We have to do this, because...
   And then, ten days later we finished it using...

This is the top level again and text here may be written directly after
I wrote (A) from above and filed the task.

Do I make myself clear now?


On Thu, Mar 31 2016, John Hendy wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Dominik Schrempf
> <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Hello,
> [snip]
>> 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]
> Notes
> *** Something else
> [2016-03-30 Wed]
> Blah
> 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!
> John
>> Thanks and best wishes,
>> Dominik

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