Basti's Scratchpad on the Internet
02 Apr 2018

Scheduling Future TODOs in org-journal

I keep a simple journal in org-journal: One text file per day, in org-mode. But over the years, org-journal has grown somewhat beyond this simple use case. About three years ago, a gentleman named Vladimir Kazanov implemented a very fast text search. Thus, my journal became an information archive. About two years ago, org-journal learned to carry over TODO items to the current day if you hadn't completed them on the previous day. So it to become a to-do list. And today, org-journal gained the ability to work with future journal entries, thus becoming a calendar.

Despite all of these features however, org-journal remains one org file per day, with fancy functions to do fancy things if you want them—or ignore them, if the journal is all you need.

Back to scheduling: This work was prompted by my colleague, who organizes everything in org-mode, but is not a user of org-journal. He even eschews the use of a traditional calendar, and instead uses a few org files and the magic of org-agenda to give him a nice overview like this for the coming week[1]:

Week-agenda (W14):
Monday     2 April 2018 W14
  2018-04-02: Easter Monday 
Tuesday    3 April 2018
Wednesday  4 April 2018
Thursday   5 April 2018
  2018-04-05: Scheduled:  Give Lecture 4 on Applied Programming             :BB:
Friday     6 April 2018
  2018-04-06: Scheduled:  Release of new Eels record
Saturday   7 April 2018
Sunday     8 April 2018
  2018-04-08: Scheduled:  TODO Celebrate Sunday

And lo and behold, this now works in org-journal as well! Just create a new journal entry in the future, either by pressing i j in M-x calendar or by calling org-journal-new-scheduled-entry, and org-journal will create an entry with a SCHEDULED property of the appropriate date (prefix to suppress TODO). When the current day reaches that entry, it will incorporate it into the daily journal.

Future journal entries are highlighted in M-x calendar, and you can get an overview of them with org-journal-schedule-view, or, if you enable org-journal-enable-agenda-integration, through the ordinary org-agenda, as shown above. The agenda integration does not include past journal entries in the agenda, since agenda searches tend to become very slow if they have to traverse the hundreds of files in my journal.

[1]: This is of course not his calendar, but mine.

Tags: org-journal org-mode
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