Lab Notebooking

29 Oct 2014

Via the clojure gazette I got to Lab Notebooking for the Software Engineer. There Nelson Elhage points out some things there that I was working my way to as well.

For keeping the log I use a function logit defined in my .emacsrc:

(defun logit ()
  "Log function: open ~/org/log.org, write timestamp and put cursor in right place"
  (interactive)
  (find-file "~/org/log.org")
  (goto-char (point-max))
  (insert (format-time-string "* %H:%M    %A %B %d, %Y-%m-%d\n\n\n"))
  (forward-line -2))

I have found that the timestamp makes it easy to look at the file as append only. Now anywhere in emacs I can M-x logit, and add a log entry.

I use Hazel to check that the file get updated frequently (there is a hazel rule that after the file has not been changed for an hour generates a popup reminding me).

One thing that he does not write about is what to do with the data collected. I have found that just keeping it in the log.org file means it become too hard to use. So I have a file notes.org where I copy all things to that seem like they should be usefull on other occasions. The file notes.org I study frequently to get the information into my brain.