In org-mode I usually create several notes with timestamps under a headline, for example:

* idea
  [2018-09-26 Wed 09:39] \\
  General description of idea.

** idea development
   [2018-09-26 Wed 09:40] \\
   First step description.

   [2018-09-26 Wed 09:41] \\
   Second step description.

   [2018-09-26 Wed 09:42] \\
   Final notes on idea development.

I would like to reference some steps inder ** idea development in other org-files. Of course it is possible to create headers for every step or to make a dedicated target, but this would make my notes unreadable. Therefore I'd like to have an implicit targets from timestamps and reference them as [[2018-09-26 Wed 09:42][final note]], but this link does not work. How to make it work?

There is another complication in my case, I set custom date display for time stamps in ~/.emacs

(setq org-display-custom-times t)
(setq org-time-stamp-custom-formats
  (quote ("<%d.%m.%Y %a>" . "<%d.%m.%Y %a %H:%M>")))

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that you record the development of other org files by time in the only org file, and you want to jump from the other org files to the development situation recorded in the unique org file.

Suppose the content of this unique org file "~/idea.org" has at least:

<<2018-09-26 Wed 09:42>>

The contents of some other org files, such as "~/development.org", are at least:

[[file:~/idea.org::2018-09-26 Wed 09:42][final note]]

Finally, when you use the command "org-open-at-point" in the "~/development.org" file, you can open the "~/idea.org" file and locate it.

  • Sorry, I did not understand your solution... Do you propose to make explicit/dedicated target with <<>> for every timestamp? I'd like to avoid it.
    – zeliboba
    Sep 28, 2018 at 4:12
  • @zeliboba Does it work?
    – SunDawning
    Sep 28, 2018 at 5:44
  • Your solution is not what I want. Firstly, I use org-time-stamp-inactive function tu create timestamps, your solution timestamp has to be created manually. Secondly, I'd like to avoid extra << >> around timestamps, they make notes less readable.
    – zeliboba
    Oct 5, 2018 at 3:57
  • @zeliboba If you don't use the "<<>>" method and you want to use "org-time-stamp-inactive", you can also use "#+NAME: [2018-09-26 Wed 09:42] Final notes on idea development" and "[[file:~/idea.org::[2018-09-26 Wed 09:42]][final note]]".
    – SunDawning
    Oct 6, 2018 at 8:22
  • Thank you, but this is not a solution I'm looking for.
    – zeliboba
    Oct 7, 2018 at 4:43

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