Sacha Chats with Karl Voit

Sacha Chua has a new Emacs Chat up. This time it's with Karl Voit. It's a really interesting chat. Voit is concerned with managing personal information and uses Org Mode and some custom scripts to do that.

One set of scripts, Memacs, captures information from his email, SMS, RSS-feeds, blog posts, bank statements, and VCS commits and exports them into Org format so that they can be included in his Org files. The result is a sort of diary of that records all his appointments, phone calls, text messages, tweets, work product, and other noteworthy events that happened on any given date. That makes it easy to ask easy questions such as, “What was I doing on June 2, 2009?” as well as more difficult questions such as, “Who called me on the day I met my girl friend?” and the like. Org mode makes queries like these easy even if you don't remember the date you met your girl friend.

Voit also describes his home-grown blogging system, lazyblorg. A nice feature of lazyblorg is that he can write a blog post in any Org file and export it to his blog. Thus, if he's working in the Org file associated with one of one of his projects, he can write the post about what's he doing in situ and publish it. If he's working in some other file and wants to blog about it, he just writes the post and published it. As a result, his blog posts are associated with the files they're about. Very handy.

Later in the chat, Voit talks about using yasnippet to semi-automate repetitive chores. The example he gives is organizing trips to a local comedy club with like-minded friends. The snippet captures all the details of the outing including the when, where, and who of the act as well as dates he should send initial and reminder emails to his friends.

If you're interested in organizing your life and capturing the details for later research, you should watch this chat and check out some of Voit's software.

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