I am trying to use org-mode to make a list of files to read, with links to pdfs and write the notes corresponding to it in one file. Using org-fstree, I can get list of all links as headlines

#+BEGIN_FSTREE: ~/path/to/folder 

and pressing C-c C-c. 

This list can be updated if files are added and removed by C-c C-c again. However the problem is that this removes all the notes written.

Is there a way to update this list while keeping all the annotations?

Or any other package or method to get list of all files with their annotations?

(I also tried org-annotate-file.el but that doesnt seem to work either.)

2 Answers 2


Not too sure just what you mean by a list of all files with their annotations.

You can certainly create a bookmark to a list of files (e.g. a Dired buffer, which can itself list any set of arbitrary files, from anywhere). And you can annotate a bookmark. (You can also bookmark individual files, of course, which means that you can annotate them individually.)

If you use Bookmark+ then the annotation is in Org mode, by default.

If you use Dired+ then it is easier to create a Dired buffer that lists arbitrary files.

If for some reason you don't want a Dired buffer, but just a list of file names with links to their files, you can use function diredp-list-files (from Dired+) to create it. If you use Bookmark+ then you can bookmark that buffer.

  • Thanks for the reply. Would this allow me to open the files by clicking on the link? It's not only a list of files but of links to these files.
    – Anusha
    Jul 5, 2015 at 2:38
  • Yes, each of the solutions I mentioned would. There are many ways to get a list of file links - no doubt you will get several other suggestions.
    – Drew
    Jul 5, 2015 at 3:49
  • The above solution works well for txt files but not for opening external files like pdfs. The pdf opened with emacs only show the first page. Also, I had in mind annotating the linked files, sort of wiki where I can write notes and visit the link if required. Thanks for letting me know about annotation for bookmark itself. Any solutions for this setup?
    – Anusha
    Jul 5, 2015 at 19:26
  • Bookmarks to PDF files work fine, and so can you open a PDF from Dired. For Bookmark+, see option bmkp-default-handlers-for-file-types (and Windows file associations - and M-RET in Dired - if you are on MS Windows).
    – Drew
    Jul 5, 2015 at 19:32
  • If the linked files are bookmarked individually (or if the links are bookmark links), then each file gets its own annotation: the annotation of the associated bookmark.
    – Drew
    Jul 5, 2015 at 19:35

You might want to look at org-mac-link, which can pull links to a specific page in a PDF in Skim PDF.

  • Thanks for the reply. I am using org-mac-link. The positive with org fstree is that all the links can be pulled in one command
    – Anusha
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:47

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