In org-agenda the entries with SCHEDULED or DEADLINE properties are shown. However, sometimes I might want to distinguish between entries not only by their own names, but also the names of their parents.

For example, I might have an entry "Assignment 1" under one title, but also another "Assignment 1" for another course, both of which show up on the agenda with the same name.

What I might want instead would be "C1 -> Assignment 1" and "C2 -> Assignment 1" to be shown. Is there any configuration that would allow me to do this?

  • 2
    Check the variable org-agenda-prefix-format, where you can add parent node(s) as prefix. You may wish to create a custom agenda with this setting and avoid messing with other agendas.
    – Juancho
    Nov 2, 2017 at 16:07
  • 3
    See also this related question.
    – Juancho
    Nov 2, 2017 at 16:08
  • @Juancho Thanks for the pointer. Maybe you can just submit that as an answer so that I can accept it.
    – xji
    Nov 2, 2017 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


I suggest you use categories, i.e. set a category on the parent (or top level) item, that seems to be the simplest way. Set that by setting a property, C-c C-x p, use special property "CATEGORY", and then specify some short-hand code.

Categories are inherited, so you can set it up just once on the top heading.

  • YES!!! This! Thank you. From the manual: "The category is a broad label assigned to each agenda item. By default, the category is simply derived from the file name,..." so this is the string in the agenda before the task and it can be modified!
    – Emil Vatai
    Dec 7, 2020 at 23:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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