Continuing with my plan to make 2017 the Year of Structure, I need to start using Org-mode beyond this blog. I've been chasing the perfect Org-mode setup, putting off using it until I've designed my system fully. That's dumb, I'm dumb, time to get started. As Anne Lamot teaches, I need to embrace "Shitty First Drafts".

I'm going to make ~/org the base directory for all my Org-mode usage. I realize that this is the default value, but I find comfort in being explicit at this point.

(setq org-directory "~/org")

The next thing I want to do is make a keymap. Many people seem to give Org-mode features top level keybindings such as C-c c for capturing. I don't feel the need to do that (yet?), so I've decided to use a keymap bound to C-c o. I could bind things globally without using a keymap, but the keymap feels like the right choice.

(setq mak::org-mode-map (make-sparse-keymap))
(global-set-key (kbd "C-c o") mak::org-mode-map)

I feel like the obvious first feature to set up is Capture. Org-mode's capture facility pops up a buffer in which I can choose a (user-defined) template, and then fill in whatever I want captured. I can then chord C-c C-c, the general "do what I mean" command in Org-mode, and the information I've input will be whisked away and saved safely, returning me to whatever I was doing.

(define-key mak::org-mode-map (kbd "c") 'org-capture)

I currently have a system that I've been using for a year or two where I send myself emails such as and then manage my captures/todos as a series of email messages. While I don't have a system to properly manage those emails in my current configuration, I plan to keep that capture method and integrate Gnus and Org-mode to make it work.

For the saving of these captures, I'd like the file to be named less generically than the default of

(setq org-default-notes-file (concat org-directory "/"))

When chording C-c o c from this blog post, I now see a buffer with the following:

Select a capture template

[t]     Task
[C]     Customize org-capture templates
[q]     Abort

And after hitting t to create a generic task, I get the following in a temporary buffer:

   [2017-02-26 Sun]

Now I have a way to effortlessly capture when I'm in Emacs, but not elsewhere. So there we go, I've started using Org-mode in earnest. Time to figure out what doesn't work for me, and fix that. How long could that process possibly take…?