I'm using a package that automatically adds a CREATED property with a current time stamp to every item I create. I would like these timestamps not to appear in my agenda. To demonstrate, here is a minimal example. The whole init.el reads:

(global-set-key "\C-ca" 'org-agenda)
(setq org-agenda-files (list "~/org.org"))

File ~\org.org contains:

* TODO Created Today
  :CREATED:  <2019-11-05 Tue 11:00>
* TODO Scheduled Today
  SCHEDULED: <2019-11-05 Tue>
* TODO Deadline Tomorrow
  DEADLINE: <2019-11-06 Wed>

With that, pressing C-c a a (i.e., conjuring up the default agenda) gives me this:

An org mode agenda

I like the fact that it tells me what's scheduled when and when which deadlines are, but having this huge time table to show me when I created which items is just unnecessary. Is there a way of getting rid of that?

The documentation of the agenda says that it shows "the entries for each day". It is very unspecific what it considers to be "an entry for a day". Is there a way of controlling this? Also note that I did not switch the agenda into "logbook mode". In fact, in my example, it shows the exact same thing in "logbook mode". However, since the CREATED timestamp is not in the LOGBOOK drawer, it should not be affected by logbook mode anyways, right?

  • 1
    Originally this was the behavior: all active timestamps are show in the agenda for that day. At one point it changed to only include timestamps in the body and not properties with the previous behavior being described as a bug. It looks like it changed back but maybe by accident so it shouldn't be relied on.
    – erikstokes
    Apr 7, 2020 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


Okay, I figured it out (by chance, by reading a different question about time stamps that just came up): Apparently, the agenda just includes everything that contains an "active time stamp". An active time stamp is any time stamp in angular brackets. Thus, if I replace in my timestamp-inserting code

(setq timestr
          (format-time-string (cdr org-time-stamp-formats)))


(setq timestr
          (format-time-string "[%Y-%m-%d %a %H:%M]"))

then inactive time stamps (in square brackets) are inserted, which do not show up in my agenda anymore.

  • I know it's been awhile, but you can insert timestamps directly with org-time-stamp or org-time-stamp-inactive Nov 30, 2022 at 22:15

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