I know that there is a calendar in Emacs and I want to use it. After a lot of Google searches, and also after reading Emacs' manual, I still have no idea how to use it. The only thing I have succeeded is to view a buffer with 3 months.

What I want to do is use it like the Google Calendar so to be able to write entries in the days I want and some notes.

I have seen that there are also some other options available like the diary but the only thing I have find for it is a description so I don't actually know what it is! How can someone use Emacs as a Calendar and what are the options to do so (Calendar, Diary etc)?

  • You may be interested in synchronizing your calendar with Toodledo so that all your mobile / desktop devices have access to the same database: github.com/christopherjwhite/org-toodledo If you find that you enjoy elisp / customizing Emacs, then little by little you can have a fully functional calendar that will display birthdays, holidays, meetings, etc. in the form of multicolored entries on the calendar and a corresponding org-agenda buffer with details in the other window. I use both a 12-month (large screen) and a 3-month calendar (small screen) to display my entries.
    – lawlist
    Dec 19, 2014 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


If you're looking for a Google calendar like tool built into Emacs, take a look at org-mode. To set up, just add

(require 'org)
(define-key global-map "\C-ca" 'org-agenda)

to your .emacs. You can then create a file called (for example) calendar.org containing lines like

* An Event
* TODO A Task
  SCHEDULED: <2014-12-19>
* This takes a week

You can then add this file to org-agenda-files and use org-agenda to view a weeks worth of events (the most common binding for this is C-c a a). There can be as many or as few of these files as you like.

org-mode can keep an agenda, a todo list, capture notes, events and tasks from other files and export it all into a variety of formats (including icalendar, which can be imported by most other calendaring tools).

It's quite complex at first but pretty easy once you get used to it. The tutorial will help you get started.


You ask a very general question about using this feature and how to find a detailed description of it, what its possibilities are, and how they work.

The answer is to ask Emacs. Use C-h r to consult the Emacs manual. Then use i calendar RET to go to node Calendar/Diary, which is a subsection of the manual that has several subsubsections:

* Calendar Motion::     Moving through the calendar; selecting a date.
* Scroll Calendar::     Bringing earlier or later months onto the screen.
* Counting Days::       How many days are there between two dates?
* General Calendar::    Exiting or recomputing the calendar.
* Writing Calendar Files:: Writing calendars to files of various formats.
* Holidays::            Displaying dates of holidays.
* Sunrise/Sunset::      Displaying local times of sunrise and sunset.
* Lunar Phases::        Displaying phases of the moon.
* Other Calendars::     Converting dates to other calendar systems.
* Diary::               Displaying events from your diary.
* Appointments::        Reminders when it's time to do something.
* Importing Diary::     Converting diary events to/from other formats.
* Daylight Saving::     How to specify when daylight saving time is active.
* Time Intervals::      Keeping track of time intervals.
* Advanced Calendar/Diary Usage:: Advanced Calendar/Diary customization.

Then start reading about whatever you want to know about using the calendary and diary.

  • 3
    Calenday Motion doesnt actually appear to tell you how to select a date. Do you know how?
    – cammil
    Nov 6, 2016 at 14:34

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