I have 5 tasks from two org files - test and test2. I want to sort all tasks by only priority in the org agenda (To Do list, C-c a t). By default, I understand that they are ordered by (org-file name and within that descending order of priority). So I changed, (org-agenda-sortingstrategy to priority-desc). However, the ordering of tasks is somehow not happening by just priority-desc.

I am not even able to understand what is the logic being applied to sort this. Any help in this matter will be really helpful.


  • Can we please tighten up the question to relate specifically to something like sorting todo by priority-down so there are a finite number of correct answers? As the question reads now (based on the first draft), it appears that you are seeking a tutorial on the one hand, with a semi-specific example on the other hand (which would have an answer). The latter will be more widely accepted by the community and have a strong likelihood of eliciting an answer within a short period of time. – lawlist Aug 24 '16 at 2:24
  • @lawlist. Thanks for the tip. I have updated to have orientation towards a specific problem I am trying to approach. – adithyavr Aug 24 '16 at 4:23

Looks to me like that is ordering by just priority-desc.

I can infer from that snippet that you've set your org-default-priority to B, so the todo item with no explicit priority has defaulted to B and is correctly placed in the list.

If you want to send items without explicit priorities to the bottom of the list you have to set org-default-priority to the value of org-lowest-priority).

For example, add the following to .emacs:

(setq org-lowest-priority ?E)
(setq org-default-priority ?E)
  • Thanks @Matt ! That makes sense. Can you explain a little what '?E' means? And just to clarify tasks without priority = tasks set with default prioirity? – adithyavr Aug 26 '16 at 1:03
  • 1
    ?E is the desired lowest priority in this case, so you'd and up with valid priorities being A, B, C, D, E (the normal default was A-C so I was suggesting you create a new priority E they can default to so it won't clash with any existing priorities you might set). And yes, tasks without priority = tasks set with default prioirity. From orgmode.org/manual/Priorities.html : "By default, Org mode supports three priorities: ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. ‘A’ is the highest priority. An entry without a cookie is treated just like priority ‘B’. Priorities make a difference only for sorting in the agenda" – Matt Innes Aug 26 '16 at 8:17
  • Thanks! that really helps. I should go over the manual again!. No wonder, I missed that. – adithyavr Aug 26 '16 at 13:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.