Let's say that I am looking at my agenda view (C-c c a), where I usually mark items as DONE from there (by pressing 't' several times to run through all statuses). The thing is, the fist status is TODO and the last DONE. But how to set a CANCELLED status, for those that have been cancelled without having to delete it or mark them as DONE (which is not true)? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


You can create a "CANCELED" state that is in a sequence by itself and that counts as DONE.

(setq org-todo-keywords
        (sequence "TODO(t)" "NEXT(n)" "STARTED(s)" "|" "DONE(d)")
        (sequence "|" "CANCELED(c)")

This gives you, essentially, two independent DONE states, neither of which will appear in the agenda todo lists.

  • Thanks. One question though: what do you mean "neither of which will appear in the agenda todo lists? Will the CANCELLED state behave exactly as DONE? Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 4:04
  • @EmmanuelGoldstein Yes. Any element of a org-todo-keywords sequence coming after a "|" is consider a "DONE" state, exactly like the default "DONE",for things like org-agenda-skip-timestamp-if-done. Changing the state to "CANCELED" will also trigger a closed timestamp to be added, if you have that configured.
    – erikstokes
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 16:11
  • Thanks, @erikstokes. One question: why the second sequence line? Why not just "|" "DONE" "CANCELLED" in one line after DONE? I just implemented your code in my .emacs file but couldn't see how to jump to CANCELLED. It only cycles through the first sequence. Thanks! Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 17:27
  • "CANCELLED" is in it's own sequence exactly so you can't cycle to it. I don't think of it as the "next" state from "DONE" but rather a completely different thing unrelated to any other sequence. You can switch to it with org-todo (C-c C-t). If you prefer you can put it in the same sequence as "DONE". It's purely a preference thing.
    – erikstokes
    Commented Sep 9, 2018 at 21:36
  • Thanks. This is cofusing: org-todo (C-c C-t) or SHIFT+right is what I use to cycle... so I still can't access the CANCEL state. There must be a way to jump to the other sequence. Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 3:55

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