Is there a way to tell Org Agenda to schedule X number of hours for a task without a specific start-end time? Presently, the standard format is this: SCHEDULED: <2019-06-20 Thu 9:00-12:00>

1 Answer 1


Do you mean to be using an effort estimate instead of a scheduled time?

An effort estimate is a property, stored in the property drawer, like this:

* TODO Something that can be done in 5 minutes
  :Effort:   0:05

Effort estimates are completely separate from scheduled or deadline times, and describe how long a task might take, rather than when it should be done.

Typically, estimates are added to a task with the C-c C-x e sequence. If you have effort values that you use frequently, you can put a line like

#+PROPERTY: Effort_ALL 0 0:10 0:20 0:30 1:00 2:00 4:00 6:00 8:00

at the top of your org file, and then S-<left> and S-<right> will cycle through those values whenever you're prompted for an effort.

You may wish to check out a video tutorial on the subject:

* TODO watch org mode tutorial on effort estimates
  :Effort:   0:10
  [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeAtCVZpHCg][OrgMode E04S05: Effort estimates]]
  • Yes, I think this is pretty close to what I had in mind. How is it utilized? I don't really get a good idea of it from reading the org manual. I need a working example.
    – Sati
    Jun 19, 2019 at 16:51
  • @jeffkowalski: this looks more like a comment than an answer. You might want to expand it to something beyond just a link and answer the OP's question in the previous comment as well. See How do I write a good answer? in the Help menu for more guidance.
    – NickD
    Jun 19, 2019 at 20:41
  • @NickD, edited the answer to expand the content. Thanks for the tip. Jun 20, 2019 at 21:07
  • Very nice - thanks!
    – NickD
    Jun 20, 2019 at 21:39

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.