[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Tips on using Org-mode to manage a reading list

From: William Denton
Subject: Re: Tips on using Org-mode to manage a reading list
Date: Mon, 16 May 2022 19:28:47 -0400 (EDT)
User-agent: Alpine 2.22 (DEB 394 2020-01-19)

On 16 May 2022, Sébastien Gendre wrote:

My goals are to:
 * List books and articles I want to read
 * Track books I have to buy and which I already own
 * Track books and articles I have read
 * Take notes on books I have read

The following is what I plan to do.

The idea is to use an Org-mode heading for each book and the
properties of the books become the ones of the Org-mode heading. The
synopsis of the book can be in the body of the heading.

I use Org to track my reading, but keep less information, so a simple table is enough. In 2015 I wrote up how it looked:


The basic annual reading list is still the same, but I'm doing a lot more with the data now, using R to generate charts and other analysis.

Your plan looks very much like something I saw on Planet Emacslife¹ a week or two ago ... but now I can't find it because it scrolled off the bottom. Maybe someone else here saw it? Or is the one who wrote it? It was someone using properties to store information about the books and then using a column view to display all the information in a table.

Could you fit everything into a table? That's simpler than using properties. But if you need lots of bibliographic detail, I guess that's the best solution in Org.

If you were willing to look outside Org then I'd recommend Zotero,² which is designed to keep track of all that; there are Emacs tools to talk to Zotero, or you could dump a BibTeX file and use Org's citation system. If I were doing what you want to do, I'd keep basic lists in tables in Org, keep notes on books in structured headings grouped by subject and then chronological order, and use Zotero for bibliographic management.

Good luck! Whatever you get started with, it'll be easy to refine and adapt in a month or six depending on what you need.


¹ https://planet.emacslife.com/
² https://www.zotero.org/

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

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]