Suppose I want to use the following definitions for effort estimates across all org files - or simply set globally, That is, I want to achieve the effect of having this line at the top of all my org files (or at least the agenda files):

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

How would this be written in the .emacs file?

1 Answer 1


See chapter 8.5 Effort estimates of the Org mode manual (which you can also read from within Emacs by running M-x info). It has this to say:

   Clearly the best way to work with effort estimates is through column
view (*note Column view::).  You should start by setting up discrete
values for effort estimates, and a `COLUMNS' format that displays these
values together with clock sums (if you want to clock your time).  For
a specific buffer you can use

     #+PROPERTY: Effort_ALL 0 0:10 0:30 1:00 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:00
     #+COLUMNS: %40ITEM(Task) %17Effort(Estimated Effort){:} %CLOCKSUM

or, even better, you can set up these values globally by customizing the
variables `org-global-properties' and `org-columns-default-format'.  In
particular if you want to use this setup also in the agenda, a global
setup may be advised.

Option org-global-properties takes a list of pairs of strings, the first element of which is the key and the second of which is the value. E.g., to configure some default values for the effort, you can add the following to your init file:

(customize-set-variable 'org-global-properties
                        '(("Effort_ALL" . "0:05 0:15 0:30 1:00 2:00 3:00")))

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