Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Who's the Emacs-daddy?

I've recently rediscovered emacs in a big way. I was never what you would call an emacs power-user, and I know just enough emacs-lisp to get myself in trouble. Since I no longer do any programming (unless you count the occassional SQL query or python script) I really haven't had any need for a robust development environment.

So what's responsible for this? I don't really know. I think it's my new push towards becoming hyper-organized. With school, and work, and home concerns, as well as a few other private projects I've got going on, I was noticing things starting to fall through the cracks. I've pushed through it over the holidays and regrouped and become caught up and found that emacs was extremely useful in that capacity.

One of the little "power tips" that I've implemented in the last month has been to transfer notes from meetings to a "meeting template" that has a list of people attending, date and purpose, along with the more general notes, action items, etc. When I'm done filling it out, I put it in my general file system for reference, sorted by topic and then date. Emacs made it a snap to automate most of this, it was free (both beer and speechwise), and it allowed me to just open up one app at the beginning of the day and forget about it until I needed it.

So what started as a one off use has slowly morphed into more general use of the mother-of-all-editors. I installed EmacsWikiMode and started transferring my WikidPad notes over to it. The tighter printer integration, and flexible output format made it a no-brainer. I've even toyed around with the idea of using the emacs calendar and diary as a sort of personal development journal to complement my blog and calendar. I don't think I'm going to transfer my email to emacs, because I'm not a masochist, but I'm doing pretty much everything else in it.

The interesting thing about emacs is that my time away from it really didn't slow me down. It's amazing how quickly I picked it up, configured it and even debugged some issues I was having with a package that I wanted to use. Of course, having the O'Reilly Emacs book helped out quite a bit.


Blogger Cote' said...

Can we get some screen shots of that EmacsWiki? I want to know more.

I think I'm in a similer situation, re: stuff falling through the cracks. I used emacs everyday at work, but I don't go much beyond the text editing and shell. I remember I used to really like the outliner mode too. And HTML editing.

5:43 PM  

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