8.6 Taking Notes with a Relative Timer

Org provides two types of timers. There is a relative timer that counts up, which can be useful when taking notes during, for example, a meeting or a video viewing. There is also a countdown timer.

The relative and countdown are started with separate commands.

C-c C-x 0 (org-timer-start)

Start or reset the relative timer. By default, the timer is set to 0. When called with a C-u prefix, prompt the user for a starting offset. The prompt will default to a timer string at point (if any), providing a convenient way to restart taking notes after a break in the process. When called with a double prefix argument C-u C-u, change all timer strings in the active region by a certain amount. This can be used to fix timer strings if the timer was not started at exactly the right moment.

C-c C-x ; (org-timer-set-timer)

Start a countdown timer. The user is prompted for a duration. org-timer-default-timer sets the default countdown value. Giving a numeric prefix argument overrides this default value. This command is available as ; in agenda buffers.

Once started, relative and countdown timers are controlled with the same commands.

C-c C-x . (org-timer)

Insert a relative time into the buffer. The first time you use this, the timer starts. Using a prefix argument restarts it.

C-c C-x - (org-timer-item)

Insert a description list item with the current relative time. With a prefix argument, first reset the timer to 0.

M-RET (org-insert-heading)

Once the timer list is started, you can also use M-RET to insert new timer items.

C-c C-x , (org-timer-pause-or-continue)

Pause the timer, or continue it if it is already paused.

C-c C-x _ (org-timer-stop)

Stop the timer. After this, you can only start a new timer, not continue the old one. This command also removes the timer from the mode line.