Since I was interested in doing my early capture-templates, I was tempted to go with this template below:

  ("j" "Reference type: Journal" entry (file+headline "~/Dropbox/orgfiles/gtd/ref.org" "Journal")
   "* %^{Heading} %^U %^G\n  :LOGBOOK:\n  Entered on: %U\n  %?\n  :END:\n %i" :empty-lines 1 :jump-to-captured t) 

After using it I got this journal below which has now many entries like this:

My old journal

* Journal
  :ARCHIVE: archive.org::
** First journal heading. [1990-08-02 Thu 18:29]       :@home:tag1:tag2:tag3:
   Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:28]
   First journal note [1991-02-28 Thu].

** Second journal heading. [2003-03-20 Thu 18:21]         :@office:tag3:tag5:
   Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:21]
   Second journal note.

** Third journal . <2003-04-09 Wed 18:23>             :@shop:tag2:tag8:tag3:
   Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:23]


After using this template for a while, I leaned (hopefully not the hard way) that this template requires time sorting after introducing my entry: an unnecessary step compared to another template that exploits the datetree feature that automatically scans your file and inserts your note(s) to the date tree accordingly without the extra effort of sorting afterwards. So I see now the benefit of using a template with a datetree. However, one pros of my old template is that one can have an overview of all the entered headings instead of eyeballing a boring view of years, months and days. Besides, there is no entry for HH:MM in the datetree method, and I couldn't find a way to add HH:MM to the datetree structure. Sometimes, I want to record the time hour for an event.

The desired journal

* 1990
** 1990-08 August
*** 2018-08-01 Thursday
**** First journal heading.                            :@home:tag1:tag2:tag3:
     Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:28]
     First journal note [1991-02-28 Thu].
* 2003
** 2003-03 March
*** 2003-03-20 Thursday
**** Second journal heading.                              :@office:tag3:tag5:
     Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:21]
     Second journal note.
** 2003-04 April
*** 2003-04-09 Wednesday
**** Third journal heading.                            :@shop:tag2:tag8:tag3:
    Entered on: [2018-05-11 Fri 18:23]



How can I convert the journal in my old org-file to the new date tree structure without losses? Also I am open to your suggestions of how to include the HH:MM of timestamps near the headings to the new date tree structure. It should be obvious that the new date tree structure should be based upon that timestamp that is sitting on the same line where the heading is (sometimes active sometimes not) so I have both [...] and <...> timestamps.


For the new journaling (or zournaling) method using the datetree I am using this template:

  ("z" "Zournal Entry" entry (file+datetree+prompt "~/Dropbox/orgfiles/gtd/zournal.org")
  "* %?" :prepend :empty-lines 1 :jump-to-captured t)

Is there a way to let it include the prompted HH:MM into the entry? I hope so. Till then, I am going to continue using the first template until someone provides the appreciated help.

1 Answer 1


This will make org-capture make new heading in folder gtd file inbox.org based on datetree

The result will became like this

 2020-04 April
   2020-04-11 Saturday
   2020-04-13 Monday
     **the capture will be here**
  ("x" "New backlog" entry
     (file+datetree+prompt "~/gtd/inbox.org")
     "* TODO %? 
\nSCHEDULED: %(org-insert-time-stamp (org-read-date nil t \"+1d\")) 
\nCaptured On: %U"
     :jump-to-captured t)

Capptured with %U will capture HH:MM like this

Captured On: [2020-04-13 Mon 18:13]

I use this to schedule it for tomorrow, so it didn't mess up my today plan

%(org-insert-time-stamp (org-read-date nil t \"+1d\"))

  • 3
    Please add some explanation about how this addresses the question(s).
    – Stefan
    Commented Apr 11, 2020 at 13:25
  • the question is to ask how to ask prompt for HH:MM, and I give the answer with %U that will capture the date with the time when the task captured.
    – moanrisy
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 23:24

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