Alternatives to Org (that I will not be using)

One of the items in my ever-growing to-do list in Org Mode was to look at other outlining software. I think I started the list with the intent of trying these out, but as it grew I just kept track of new programs as I came across them. I have decided to abandon this list since I think Org and Emacs will fit whatever needs I have now and in the future. Plus I kept finding other alternatives to Org (either as outliners or for to-do lists), and since the list got longer and longer, I just decided to scrap the idea. Here I will just list what I found.

  • Leo Editor
  • Todo.txt
    • Main page.
    • Neil Van Dyke’s page on Todo.txt. He also has a page on Emacs packages he has written.
    • Emacs mode for Todo.txt.
  • TaskWarrior
    It looks like this requires a separate server to run.

  • A Plain Text Personal Organizer. This is more of a system, and there does not seem to be an application.
  • [x]it (I guess pronounced like “exit”)
    I looked at the syntax guide for about a second, and decided I did not need to read any further. With Org, you can set the status of an item with a word (like “TODO”, “INPROGRESS”, “CANCELLED”, “DONE”); I think you can add your own if you want. Using punctuation for that is inefficient. I do not need yet another thing to remember. I prefer thinking in words rather than symbols, and I prefer context being somewhere other than in my head.

One of the Hacker News discussions on xit had a comment that made me realize there was not much point in keeping this list:

If you want a plain text organizational, compositional and scheduling tool that you can use for the rest of your life and know that 30 years down the line it will be actively supported, developed and you will be able to tweak anything you want…. emacs/org mode is by far and away the best choice. It isn’t even remotely close, we are talking about the difference between a planet and a tiny asteroid when you compare org mode to other plain textish organizational, compositional and scheduling tools.

For as long as humanity doesn’t collapse and probably even after it does org mode and emacs will be used (there is going to be some nerd somewhere using org mode and ledger cli to meticulously track how many smoked rats and cockroach kebobs they have left to eat before they have to leave their bunker), there is just such an intense critical mass of utility under an open source license.

WRT outliners: I do not create plain text files anymore. I just make everything an Org file, and collapse parts that I am not interested in looking at in any given moment. When you have a tool that can do anything, why use anything else?

You’re welcome.

Image from an 11th century manuscript made at the monastery of St. Gall, housed at the Jagiellonian Library (Wikipedia page here), image from e-Codices, assumed allowed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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