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5.1 Basic TODO functionality

Any headline becomes a TODO item when it starts with the word ‘TODO’, for example:

     *** TODO Write letter to Sam Fortune

The most important commands to work with TODO entries are:

C-c C-t     (org-todo)
Rotate the TODO state of the current item among
          ,-> (unmarked) -> TODO -> DONE --.
          '--------------------------------'

If TODO keywords have fast access keys (see Fast access to TODO states), you will be prompted for a TODO keyword through the fast selection interface; this is the default behavior when org-use-fast-todo-selection is non-nil.

The same rotation can also be done “remotely” from the timeline and agenda buffers with the t command key (see Agenda commands).


C-u C-c C-t
When TODO keywords have no selection keys, select a specific keyword using completion; otherwise force cycling through TODO states with no prompt. When org-use-fast-todo-selection is set to prefix, use the fast selection interface.


S-<right> / S-<left>
Select the following/preceding TODO state, similar to cycling. Useful mostly if more than two TODO states are possible (see TODO extensions). See also Conflicts, for a discussion of the interaction with shift-selection-mode. See also the variable org-treat-S-cursor-todo-selection-as-state-change.
C-c / t     (org-show-todo-tree)
View TODO items in a sparse tree (see Sparse trees). Folds the entire buffer, but shows all TODO items (with not-DONE state) and the headings hierarchy above them. With a prefix argument (or by using C-c / T), search for a specific TODO. You will be prompted for the keyword, and you can also give a list of keywords like KWD1|KWD2|... to list entries that match any one of these keywords. With a numeric prefix argument N, show the tree for the Nth keyword in the variable org-todo-keywords. With two prefix arguments, find all TODO states, both un-done and done.
C-c a t     (org-todo-list)
Show the global TODO list. Collects the TODO items (with not-DONE states) from all agenda files (see Agenda Views) into a single buffer. The new buffer will be in agenda-mode, which provides commands to examine and manipulate the TODO entries from the new buffer (see Agenda commands). See Global TODO list, for more information.
S-M-<RET>     (org-insert-todo-heading)
Insert a new TODO entry below the current one.

Changing a TODO state can also trigger tag changes. See the docstring of the option org-todo-state-tags-triggers for details.