Emacs: Using Org Mode for Todo

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This pages is a tutorial on using emacs org-mode as todo list.

todo list crossout nothing

If you've never used org-mode before, see: Emacs: Writing Outline, org-mode Tutorial

TODO Heading

To mark a heading as todo item, start it with “TODO”.

* TODO call mom for bday
* DONE finish coding absca

Insert Date/Time


Each heading may have keywords, called “tags”.

For example: work, family, urgent, coding….

The syntax for tag is any word between colon, like this: :something: or :this:that:. They are usually placed at end of the line. Like this:

* call mom for bday. :family:...
* finish writing the org-mode tutorial. :emacs:work:

Tag name characters must be any alphabets A to Z, a to z, or digits 0 to 9, or _, @.

Tag name cannot have space, nor hyphen -.

Tags are inherited from parent nodes, in the sense that when you search for a tag, a heading with that tag will show but also all its children, even if the children's headings do not contain that tag.

Ctrl+c Ctrl+q】 → insert a tag. You can also just type the tag yourself.

Show Headings by Tag

Ctrl+c \】 → show only headings of a given tag.

org mode Topic

  1. Emacs: Org Mode Markup Cheatsheet
  2. Emacs: Writing Outline, org-mode Tutorial
  3. Emacs: Org Mode, Programing Language Code Markup
  4. Emacs: Using Org Mode for Todo
  5. Emacs: Org Mode Customization
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