When I try to open a org-agenda view, I am prompted with emacs claiming that the first line of my todo list is not a valid file, with options to remove it from the agenda list, or abort. Removing it removes the actual line from my .org file.

This is what's in my config: (setq org-agenda-files "~/org/todo.org")

  • Try making a backup of your todo file, and replace it with the simplest one you can (single TODO headline with a scheduled time).
    – user12563
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


According to the documentation, org-agenda-files is either:

  • A string naming a directory which contains agenda files
  • A string naming a file whose contents list the agenda files (this is the situation you find yrself in).
  • A list of file names.

So, to achieve what you want, you need

(setq org-agenda-files '("~/org/todo.org"))

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