Freedombone Blog

Freedom in the Cloud

Emacs Workflow

Listening to the first episode of the LibreLounge podcast among many other things they describe their Emacs workflow using org-mode. I also do things in a similar way, so on the obscure off-chance that anyone is even the slightest bit interested in how I do it, it goes as follows:

My main editor for most things, especially "getting things done" type tasks is of course Emacs. I use org-mode for notes and also org-agenda as a TODO list. My Emacs configuration is a bulky menagerie of assorted modules and I started out with Sasha Chua's configuration from Github in about 2012 and then heavily modified it, removing some things and adding a bunch of other things. Maintaining this can turn into a yak shaving exercise, but fortunately I rarely reinstall Emacs these days since I'm typically using an Arch based desktop distro.

I have a personal git repo stored on the server which contains my org-agenda files and notes. Synchronization is just a matter of committing on one system and then pulling the changes on another. That might sound complicated compared to something like Syncthing, but in practice it's not much of an issue and avoids the type of conflicting situations described in the podcast.

On first running Emacs it shows my personal index page which is an org-mode document with embedded links to notes, cheat sheets, bookmarks and the current TODO list. Most commandline stuff I do within Emacs using eshell. I use git mostly from the commandline, but occasionally with magit to list commit history for repos or individual files. I also use golden ratio mode so that buffers change size automatically.

I did email within Emacs at one time, using Mew, but now I mostly use Mutt or the Freedombone webmail, which is a customized squirrelmail. Mutt is hard to beat for speed and simplicity, and has good GPG integration. Also logging in to the server via ssh or using webmail to read email avoids the need to expose any IMAP port and so reduces attack surface.

I've been an Emacs user since about 2010. Prior to that I mostly used gedit with its various plugins. I did try versions of Emacs in the more distant past - particularly MicroEmacs - but didn't use it as my main editor.