When you are doing research on org-mode for notes taking in the middle of a sleepless night, to accidentaly realize, reading someone else commenting on Linuxfr.org, you had forgotten everything about your true first encounter with Org-Mode, dating back… 2011.

Beside my failing memory, what strikes me the most reading this short note, is the reason I was as enthusiastic as I was hesitant to fully commit to Org-Mode back then is the exact same reason I am still hesitant and enthusiastic today, after my recent rediscovery of Org-Mode:

La seule chose qui m’effraie vraiment c’est qu’il y ait besoin de 200 pages pour expliquer toutes les possibilités de ce mode — qui a parlé d’usine à gaz ?

In English:

The one thing that trully frightens me is the need for a 200 pages (manual) to explain all of Org’s features — who said ‘what a mess’ (sorry, I don’t know the English equivalent to the French “usine à gaz”, aka a clusterfuck of features and options and controls.)

In my book, a note taking-tool should be quick and easy to learn because a note-taking too is just that: a tool to use to do the stuff that really matters — taking notes. The note taking tool should not be the thing that matters. That’s why I love TXT files and that’s why I write all my texts and books using Markdown. And that is why I still have such a hard time commiting to Org-Mode for note taking, despite all its strengths.

That is not to say Org-Mode is bad. It is obviously not. But maybe the idea of putting everything together in a single and huge package — note taking, agenda, todo, publishing/exporting tool — is not the most practical? At least, not for me.

That said, I like the way Org-Mode works in Emacs and I don’t think I could move back to another system. Simply put, it is the best note taking format/tool I have ever used and I’m only hindered by… my own lack of mastery of both Org-Mode and Emacs. Which sends me back to my 2011 question: why all this complexity?

Isn’t that what the Unix philosophy is all about — do one thing and do it well ;)

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