Rainer König has posted two new videos in his OrgMode Tutorial series. Unfortunately for him but fortunately for us it's raining in Augsburg so König has had to forego gardening in favor of making more of his excellent Org Mode videos.
This time he discusses dynamic blocks and habit training. Unless you're really an Org mode expert, there's sure to be a lot of things you didn't know in the videos.
The first video talks about dynamic blocks. You may be familiar with them for displaying clocking data but they turn out to be much more general. It's easy to set one up: you just add
#+BEGIN: function <parameters> #+END:
to your Org file. The
function identifier on the #+BEGIN: line represents the name of the function to generate the dynamic block. You can add parameter name/value pairs if necessary.
There are two builtin functions—clocktable and columnview—to cover the common cases of building dynamic blocks of clocking data and columnview representations. These are useful since the clocking data and columnview representations are normally buffer overlays and there's no way to capture or export them. By building a dynamic block you get normal text that you can process however you like. See the video for the details on how to generate these dynamic blocks. There are keyboard shortcuts so you don't have to bother with adding the #+BEGIN:/#+END: markers.
The second video considers habit tracking. The idea is that you have some periodic task that you want to establish as a habit—practicing an instrument, say—so you tell Org mode that it's a habit you want to track and how often you want to do it and Org mode will provide a nice graphic in your agenda tracking your performance. You handle them just as you would TODOs. When you complete a task you mark it complete and Org tracks it for you. König has an excellent demonstration of this with his own bass and guitar practicing.
As always, these are excellent and informative videos. The two video are 13:12 and 12:37 (min:sec) long so you should have no problem scheduling them. As I've said before, these videos are the best introduction to Org mode that I know of and I can't recommend them enough.