How to Learn the Org Mode
agumonkey asked on Reddit:
btw, did you “master” org-mode through sheer RTFM or did someone guide you (it’s a vast thing, I found it hard to find clever usage while learning the bits). Do you or do you not stand on giants’ shoulder Sir?
That’s an excellent question, since
org-mode makes Emacs worth learning.
When I started using
org-mode, it was a replacement for small notes
that I had originally formatted in Markdown. At first, I was annoyed
that the difference between headers and bullet items was initial
spaces before the asterisk. I also didn’t like that it was
different. When judicious, Markdown can be readable, but
=commands= with equal signs seemed silly.
But I loved how links were displayed and used. Oh, and the tables. The
org-mode seemed straight-forward and easy to learn by
reading the first part of the Compact Guide to org-mode.
I loaded up the PDF on my tablet and read the first section, but
when I got to the literate programming section, the compact guide
proved insufficient, so I grabbed the Complete Manual and re-read
those chapters that really interested me.
My first real project was keeping a daily journal and writing some
Lisp code to grab and format the day’s weather into my
So, to answer the question, sheer RTFM-ing is what I did, but that was then. What should someone do now? I don’t know. I’ve tried to hook friends by pointing them to some of the standard references, but I do think that someone with the time and talent should follow Mickey Peterson’s lead, and write a book on Org Mode. I mean, the manual is pretty good, but it is a reference manual.
I might be tempted to write a book, but I believe I would write most of the content as blog entries and chapters, and see how it goes first. Sooooo… let me turn the tables, and ask others about what tutorials of the various org-mode features need describing, and I’ll see if I can answer them to give others an easier time at learning one of the best productivity tools.
Interested? Let me know.