Tag Archives: org-mode

Dump Emacs org-mode agendas and todo lists to the command line

Emacsorg-mode is just a mind blowing tool for organizing everything – there is a full Google Tech Talk only about this extension. Among other things I use it for my scheduling and todo lists. Sometimes (e.g. when I start my computer in the morning) I just want a quick glance at my today’s appointments and top todo items without opening Emacs and starting the agenda view. Due to this I created a simple setup that dumps this information into the command line.

To do so you first must have a org-mode formated file. If you need basic information about how to use the org-modes read its excellent documentation. Here is a sample file that I named “projectes.org”. It has the following made-up content:

* Project Boing
** TODO [#A] Make a the plan
** TODO [#A] Write the specs
** TODO [#A] Write the code
   DEADLINE: <2010-08-27 Fri>
* Project Blub
** Meet the others
   SCHEDULED: <2010-08-25 Wed>
** TODO [#B] Dream up something
** TODO [#C] Slacking

You need to add this file to the list of agenda files in your Emacs configuration file (~/.emacs) so that the org-mode will include it in the agenda display:

(custom-set-variables '(org-agenda-files (quote ("~/projects.org"))))

If you have Emacs running, the org-mode installed and activated “M-X org-angenda a” will give you an overview of the dates and “M-X org-angenda t” will present your todo list.

To call this function from the command line instead of inside of Emacs use the editors batch mode:

$ emacs -batch -l ~/.emacs -eval '(org-batch-agenda "a")' 2> /dev/null

The “2> /dev/null” takes care of some extra and for us not useful information. The output should look like this:

Week-agenda (W34):
Monday     23 August 2010 W34
Tuesday    24 August 2010
Wednesday  25 August 2010
  projects:   In   2 d.:  TODO [#A] Write the code
  projects:   Scheduled:  Meet the others
Thursday   26 August 2010
Friday     27 August 2010
  projects:   Deadline:   TODO [#A] Write the code
Saturday   28 August 2010
Sunday     29 August 2010

If you run this on a different date the output will look different. Today – the 25th of August – it is 2 days to the deadline that ends at the 27th. Again – to fully understand everything I can just refer you to the org-mode documentation. In order to get the todo list written to the command line we have to adapt the call just slidely – replace the “a” by a “t”.

$ emacs -batch -l ~/.emacs -eval '(org-batch-agenda "t")' 2> /dev/null

The output should look similar to this:

Global list of TODO items of type: ALL
Available with `N r': (0)ALL
  projects:   TODO [#A] Make a the plan
  projects:   TODO [#A] Write the specs
  projects:   TODO [#A] Write the code
  projects:   TODO [#B] Dream up something
  projects:   TODO [#C] Slacking

Finally make some handy aliases in your ~/.profile file:

alias todo="emacs -batch -l ~/.emacs -eval '(org-batch-agenda \"t\")' 2> /dev/null "
alias today="emacs -batch -l ~/.emacs -eval '(org-batch-agenda \"a\")' 2> /dev/null "

Now you can get the wished output by typing “todo” or “agenda” in the command line.