The org-mode documentation has following to say about the colors in the habits graph:

  • Blue: If the task was not to be done yet on that day.
  • Green: If the task could have been done on that day.
  • Yellow: If the task was going to be overdue the next day.
  • Red: If the task was overdue on that day.

I have the following graphs:

org-mode Habits Graphs

The habits repeat daily and are defined like this: <2020-07-09 Thu 12:00 .+1d>

In this example I fail to understand what the documentation means? It’s pretty clear that the evening habit was never done in the past (hence everything is red and there is no star). But how should I read the first and second column for “Morning” and “Afternoon”? Why are they blue? When I hover over the first column, I don’t get a tooltip. When I hover over the second blue column (which has a star) the tooltip shows 2020-06-18. But when I take a look at this day, I see that I completed this particular habit at 13:21, after it was meant to be done on that day.

To me this looks like a bug and I would expect everything to be green with stars for the first two habits, but I’m probably missing something?

  • Can you add the definitions of your habits? Are they scheduled every day? I think the colors (might) make sense in the context of the example (shave no more than once in a two-day period, but at least once in a four-day period, starting at some date), but they might not make much sense (other than red/green) if they are to be done every day.
    – NickD
    Jul 8, 2020 at 16:25
  • Thanks for the comment, my habits are indeed repeating daily. I extended my question. What I fail to understand is why in this case the first two cells are blue, and also why the first cell in the graph doesn’t have a star? Jul 9, 2020 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


The colors are relative to the emacs theme selected. As I understand it, the two first cells are blue since the task was then overdue (OR org-habit-preceding-days is set to show days prior to the first schedule), and the second cell is blue since, even when you marked the task as done, it was already overdue.

  • Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately I have a hard time understanding your answer as this contradicts the official documentation and my statement in the question. According to the documentation the blue color means that a habit was done before it was due. But I mentioned that the habit was already due at the point where I marked it done, so according to the documentation it should also be green. Keep in mind that the color for the remainder of the days is green, and in my opinion the correct one. Now I’m slightly more confused than before 😅 Mar 26, 2021 at 9:54

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