In org-mode, what is the difference between TODO workflow states and TODO types? They looks and seems the same.

Here's a simple workflow states:

     (setq org-todo-keywords
           '((sequence "TODO" "FEEDBACK" "VERIFY" "|" "DONE" "DELEGATED")))

And here's a TODO type:

     (setq org-todo-keywords '((type "Fred" "Sara" "Lucy" "|" "DONE")))

But for me, they both look and function the same.

1 Answer 1


The doc says:

The second possibility is to use TODO keywords to indicate different types of action items. For example, you might want to indicate that items are for “work” or “home”. Or, when you work with several people on a single project, you might want to assign action items directly to persons, by using their names as TODO keywords. This type of functionality is actually much better served by using tags (see *note Tags::), so the TODO implementation is kept just for backward compatibility.

So you probably should not use type at all.

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