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I need to mark when I need to pay attention to a task in org-mode.

So far, I've been using SCHEDULED for this. In this sense, SCHEDULED may just mean "look at this on this date". This is my way of implementing a variation of of GTD. I know this may be abusing org-mode's SCHEDULED property.

One issue I have is that the model of tasks overlaps two concepts:

  • Tasks that are indeed scheduled to be completed on a particular date.

  • Tasks that I just need to look at on a particular date/period.

I could circumvent this by adding a new TODO state SCHEDULED. So far, instead, I've been using tags such as nextweeklyreview, etc.

This issue manifests when I plan tasks for future weeks: I can only plan them for a specific day (usually the first day of that week), making it look like Monday is going to be awfully busy.

What I really would like to do is to schedule a task for a week, or a month, or a year. I know I can add ranges, but that would make the task show up in red in the agenda if the start date is now past. It's also far too much work.

I want something like:

* A
  SCHEDULED: 2017

Or, alternatively:

* A
  :PROPERTIES:
  ON_DATE_YEAR: 2017
  :END:

Is any of this possible? How can I make it convenient to use?

EDIT (2017/07/09 11:15CET, due to comment received): I really need to schedule a task for a week/month/year. This is not something that, afaik, GTD suggests, but I work best this way.)

  • 1
    Have you considered using GTD keywords and then organize your *Org Agenda* search based on one or more of those keywords? Your weekly/yearly stuff does not need to appear on the agenda view unless you want it to. You can have a combined agenda search, or several different searches separated by blocks. For example, you might consider forgetting about using TODO and use something more GTD like: (setq org-todo-keywords '((sequence "Active(a)" "Next Action(n)" "Canceled(c)" "Hold(h)" "Reference(r)" "Delegated(d)" "Waiting(w)" "Postponed(P)" "Someday(s)" "Planning(p)" "|" "None(N)"))) – lawlist Jul 8 '17 at 23:37
  • What you're suggesting is "adding more structure to TODO keywords", which is what I'm doing with the SCHEDULED thing, isn't it? But that, somehow, is not enough. How do I mark something to be completed 'this week'? Deadline on Sunday? (My weeks go Mon-Sun :) ) (I usually use sparse trees instead of going to Org Agenda btw; I only use the agenda for a fixed schedule/timetable). – Ivan Perez Jul 9 '17 at 9:12
  • Another idea would be to write your own sexp for the SCHEDULED: date stackoverflow.com/questions/13555385/… There are a few threads on emacs.stackexchange and stackoverflow of custom sexp that is used by the org-agenda buffer. – lawlist Jul 9 '17 at 15:08
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Your question appears to be about several things. For your two issues, use SCHEDULED for "Tasks that I just need to look at on a particular date/period." (works for date, maybe not period). Use DEADLINE for "Tasks that are indeed scheduled to be completed on a particular date.".

If your question is about scheduling things at year or month resolution, not at day resolution, that is not built into the Org Agenda as far as I know. You can add properties though, and then search on properties. Or, you could adapt this existing feature to schedule them with some noise added to the date:

http://sachachua.com/blog/2014/04/org-mode-helps-deal-ever-growing-backlog/

Org has a built-in command for bulk-scattering tasks. From the agenda view, you can type m to mark multiple tasks, then type B and then S to scatter tasks randomly over the next N days. (Call it with a prefix argument as C-u B S to limit it to weekdays.)

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You can do agenda searches for arbitrary properties. For example if you have an ON_DATE property that looks like either "2017" or "2017-07":

* Look at this
:PROPERTIES:
:ON_DATE:  2017
:END:

* Look this month
:PROPERTIES:
:ON_DATE:  2017-07
:END:

* Don't look at this
:PROPERTIES:
:ON_DATE:  2018
:END:

You can do agenda searches for items with ON_DATE the current year/month by using format-time-string to construct the query:

(add-to-list 'org-agenda-custom-commands
             '("Y" "Year"
              tags (format "ON_DATE=\"%s\""
                           (format-time-string "%Y"))))

(add-to-list 'org-agenda-custom-commands
             '("M" "Year"
              tags (format "ON_DATE=\"%s\""
                           (format-time-string "%Y-%m"))))

Warning: agenda searches for non-special properties are rather slow.

Another solution is to use tags like year2017 month201707 and use the same sort of idea as above to construct the search:

(add-to-list 'org-agenda-custom-commands
             '("M" "Year"
              tags (format "+month%s"
                           (format-time-string "%Y%m"))))

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