I want to list all TODO entries which have specific property value.
For example:

  • I have many TODO entries which are listed beneath Collage heading.
  • Collage heading have property CATEGORY set to school.
  • There are multiple headers with corresponding value of CATEGORY property in single org file.

I currently know of two useful org-mode functionalities which could help here.

  • I can make a sparse tree of all collage headings using M-x org-sparse-tree p CATEGORY collage.
  • Also know how to make list of all TODO entries using M-x org-agenda t.

How to combine those two?
Or how to do it more elegant way?

  • 1
    The following link contains examples of how to search property drawers using the org-agenda.el library: orgmode.org/worg/org-tutorials/advanced-searching.html See also: orgmode.org/manual/… I am assuming the original poster is referring to a property drawer underneath :PROPERTIES: that looks like :CATEGORY: school and, if so the OP could evaluate the following expression in a *scratch* buffer: (org-tags-view nil "CATEGORY={school}")
    – lawlist
    Jun 23, 2016 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


This is what org-agenda-custom-commands is for. It lets you add additional agenda view to org-agenda. Here we attach "S" to a search for all TODO items whose CATEGORY is school:

(add-to-list 'org-agenda-custom-commands
             '("S" "School"
               tags-todo "+CATEGORY=\"school\""))

Access it with M-x org-agenda S. There are many, many options allowing you to customize exactly what get shown.

  • Thank you! This is exactly what I want. Actually, I knew that org-mode has an elegant solution but I couldn't find it. :)
    – yujaiyu
    Jun 24, 2016 at 7:39
  • But... There is a little problem here. It works well if I evaluate it in scratch buffer after initialization but when I put it inside org-mode-hook (where all my org-mode settings reside) it doesn't. In which loading phase one should execute it?
    – yujaiyu
    Jun 24, 2016 at 8:28
  • 1
    I've figured it out. Org agenda could be called before org-mode activation, it means before org-mode-hook, so one should set this outside that hook. And since org-agenda-custom-commands is free variable by default one should do it through setq like so: (setq org-agenda-custom-commands '(("S" "School" tags-todo "+CATEGORY=\"school\""))
    – yujaiyu
    Jun 24, 2016 at 8:43

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