Org-mode, an introduction

Org-mode is an amazing tool built into Emacs. It lets you take notes, crunch numbers and keep track of projects, all in plaintext. It has massively improved my productivity. The only problem is that it's documentation could do with some work.

In the following days I will write more on org-mode, but for now I'll just cover the fundamentals.

Org-mode is a mode built into Emacs. While there are many tools in other text editors to work with org files, you won't get most of org's features. Whenever you open a file with the extension .org in Emacs, it will automatically switch to org-mode.

For now, let's experiment with headers. Here is an example:

* Example programs
** Hello world
  The hello world program is used to demonstrate printing to stdio, and is commonly used as a first program in most languages.
** Factorial
  Pure functional languages instead use a recursive factorial for their hello world. This is because printing to stdio is not pure.
** Blink
  Microcontrollers such as the Arduino tend to come with a program to blink an LED. This provides direct feedback without having to connect via serial.

Org will automatically understand that anything starting with a * is a header. Add more asterisks for subheaders, subsubheaders and so on. This allows you to easily categorise your thoughts, which leads to org-mode's usefulness in taking notes. Pressing tab will fold and unfold headers, to limit distractions.

Org can easily export it's documents to multiple formats. Hold Ctrl, and press C and E individually to bring up the export dialog.

In the next article I'll go over lists, and how they can be used to keep track of work