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1.1 Summary

Org is a mode for keeping notes, maintaining TODO lists, and doing project planning with a fast and effective plain-text system.

Org develops organizational tasks around NOTES files that contain lists or information about projects as plain text. Org is implemented on top of Outline mode, which makes it possible to keep the content of large files well structured. Visibility cycling and structure editing help to work with the tree. Tables are easily created with a built-in table editor. Org supports TODO items, deadlines, timestamps, and scheduling. It dynamically compiles entries into an agenda that utilizes and smoothly integrates much of the Emacs calendar and diary. Plain text URL-like links connect to websites, emails, Usenet messages, BBDB entries, and any files related to the projects. For printing and sharing notes, an Org file can be exported as a structured ASCII file, as HTML, or (TODO and agenda items only) as an iCalendar file. It can also serve as a publishing tool for a set of linked web pages.

As a project planning environment, Org works by adding metadata to outline nodes. Based on this data, specific entries can be extracted in queries and create dynamic agenda views.

Org mode contains the Org Babel environment which allows you to work with embedded source code blocks in a file, to facilitate code evaluation, documentation, and literate programming techniques.

Org's automatic, context-sensitive table editor with spreadsheet capabilities can be integrated into any major mode by activating the minor Orgtbl mode. Using a translation step, it can be used to maintain tables in arbitrary file types, for example in LaTeX. The structure editing and list creation capabilities can be used outside Org with the minor Orgstruct mode.

Org keeps simple things simple. When first fired up, it should feel like a straightforward, easy to use outliner. Complexity is not imposed, but a large amount of functionality is available when you need it. Org is a toolbox and can be used in different ways and for different ends, for example:

     • an outline extension with visibility cycling and structure editing
     • an ASCII system and table editor for taking structured notes
     • a TODO list editor
     • a full agenda and planner with deadlines and work scheduling
     • an environment in which to implement David Allen's GTD system
     • a simple hypertext system, with HTML and LaTeX export
     • a publishing tool to create a set of interlinked web pages
     • an environment for literate programming

There is a website for Org which provides links to the newest version of Org, as well as additional information, frequently asked questions (FAQ), links to tutorials, etc. This page is located at

The version 7.3 of this manual is available as a paperback book from Network Theory Ltd.