A Paperless Workflow

Aqeel Akber has a nice post up about his recent switch to an almost paperless workflow. Akber is a physicist so he has lots of notes to take on his various projects. Until recently he kept them in separate notebooks for each project or subject area. About 8 months ago he started keeping digital notes in Emacs instead.

He did that by making a (pretty much one-to-one) translation from notebooks to Org files. He used the scheme outlined by Howard Abrams that I wrote about a couple of years ago. The result is that he now has electronic versions of his notebooks that are searchable and easily shareable either in whole or in part.

So far, he doesn’t appear to be make use of the excellent Org Babel functionality to integrate calculations and results into his notes and he doesn’t mention that he is using Org mode to write his papers. Of course with only 8 months in he’s still a relative n00b so I’m sure he’ll start making use of these facilities if he isn’t already. On the other hand, he’s discovered something that I didn’t know about Org mode. You can encrypt individual headlines in an Org file simply by adding a :crypt: tag to it. You need a bit configuration in your init.el file that Akber shows in his post.

I always learn something useful from posts like his so I recommend that you take a look. You may or may not want to adopt his exact methods but you’re sure to learn some useful ideas.

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