Q: Which function does org-mode use to log a note with a TODO state change?


org-mode provides the option of adding a note when tracking TODO state changes. That's great.

However, org is also cavalier about changing my window configuration when it adds notes (i.e., it temporarily changes the frame to a two-window layout), which is infuriating.

I've resolved the issue in a different setting when dealing with capture templates by tracking down the offending function (org-capture-place-template) and commenting out the offending line that changes my window configuration.


I cannot find the analogous function for dealing with todo state changes. The org source code is sometimes rather baroque, and I've gone through the source for org-todo without finding the relevant call. I suspect it's the same problem with a hard-coded change to the window configuration that I need to comment out.

So: what function does org use to log the NOTE with a TODO state change?

  • Looks like it adds org-add-log-note to post-command-hook within org-add-log-setup from org-todo.
    – wasamasa
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 16:56
  • @wasamasa: yes, that was definitely the one, thank you. Please post it as an answer so I can accept it. For what it's worth, commenting out the (delete-other-windows) line resolves the window-spamming problem.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


I've dug into Org a few times before, so how hard could this possibly be? Well, the location is somewhat unusual. If you follow along the sources of org-todo, you can see some comments about state changes to the TODO:

(when (and now-done-p org-log-done)
  ;; It is now done, and it was not done before
  (org-add-planning-info 'closed (org-current-effective-time))
  (if (and (not dolog) (eq 'note org-log-done))
      (org-add-log-setup 'done org-state this 'findpos 'note)))

According to its docstring, org-add-log-setup adds a helper function to post-command-hook:

(add-hook 'post-command-hook 'org-add-log-note 'append)

From this one can assume that org-add-log-note is the one we're looking for.

  • Thanks for tracking it down. I indeed missed it when scanning through the code. In my half-hearted defense, it's buried pretty deeply around the function's 200th line with cryptic comments.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 19:45

If somebody stumbles on this in the search for preventing window config change when changing TODO state (org-todo), I found it in (org-fast-todo-selection).

As I struggled to change this, here is how I did it:

  1. Find out where (org-fast-todo-selection) is
  • M-x helpful-callable (or C-h f)
  • Search for org-fast-todo-selection
  • In the help find 'Defined in' in the Source Code section
  1. Go to the definition and copy the code

  2. Save the function to your init code (like in ~/.emacs)

  3. Rename it
    I use my/org-fast-todo-selection

  4. Alter the malicious code

  • Comment out (delete-other-windows)
  • ;;(delete-other-windows)
  1. Replace the original function
    (advice-add 'org-fast-todo-selection :override #'my/org-fast-todo-selection)

Now our version of (org-fast-todo-selection) without the window alteration. Bliss.

  • (org-agenda-get-restriction-and-command) for when opening the agenda. Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 20:28

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