I have defined an extra todo keyword started in my org-mode config for tasks that I'm currently working on. I only ever have one task that is in the state started.

Can I display this task in a seperate line above (or bellow) the the mode line?

  • The mode-line-format takes on a variety of forms and shapes depending upon whether it is a default configuration, a purely customized arrangement created by the user, or a library such as powerline creates it. Because there are so many endless possibilities, it would be impossible to just guess how to modify the mode-line-format without having additional information from the original poster. It would be easier to create a specific example of a simplified mode-line-format containing only the feature sought by the original poster, and then leave it up to the original poster to . . . .
    – lawlist
    Sep 17, 2016 at 4:15

1 Answer 1


This doesn't answer your question exactly, but might be a viable alternative:

If you use org-mode's clocking commands, your current task will be listed in the modeline along with the total time you've spent working on it.

From the manual:

While the clock is running, the current clocking time is shown in the mode line, along with the title of the task. The clock time shown will be all time ever clocked for this task and its children.

This won't give you a separate mode line, but you'll have the info your after in the usual mode line. Perhaps that's close enough? It should be possible to put together a hook that automatically clocked-in on a task when you switched its state to started, and clocked out when you changed it to something else.

  • This is no 100% solution, but will work for now. Thanks! Sep 26, 2016 at 7:19

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