Adapted from PersonalDiary

Org-journal is a set of functions to maintain a simple personal diary / journal in Emacs.

Feel free to use, modify and improve the code! — mtvoid, bastibe

Breaking Changes in 1.6

Key bindings have been changed from C-c j, C-c f, and C-c b to C-c C-j, C-c C-f, and C-c C-b, in order to comply with Emacs’ conventions of reserving C-c [a-zA-Z] for user-defined keys.

This file is also available from marmalade, melpa and melpa-stable under the name org-journal or on GitHub. After installing, add the line (require 'org-journal) to your .emacs or init.el to activate it. You may also want to specify the directory where your journal files will be saved. You can do this by setting the variable org-journal-dir (remember to add a trailing slash). org-journal-dir is also a customizable variable. The default value for org-journal-dir is ~/Documents/journal/. Note: you have to customize org-journal-dir before you load org-journal as otherwise Emacs would not set the mode correctly.

You can add all those calendar files to your org-agenda by adding org-journal-dir to org-agenda-files and setting org-agenda-file-regexp to include files with an all-numeric name (\\`[^.].*\\.org'\\|[0-9]+$). That way, you can use org-agenda to search for TODO items or tagged items in your org-journal.

Inside the journal directory, a separate file is created for each day with a journal entry, with a file name in the format YYYYMMDD. Each journal entry is an org-mode file that begins with a date entry on the top, followed by a entries for different times. Any subsequent entries on the same day are written as additional headings in the same file, with their own time. To start writing a journal entry, press C-c C-j. You can also open the current day’s entry without adding a new entry with C-u C-c C-j.

You can customize the date and time formats using the variables org-journal-date-format and org-journal-time-format. If you do not want to use org headings and sub-headings for date and time entries, customize org-journal-date-prefix and org-journal-time-prefix. For example, you could set org-journal-date-prefix to #+TITLE: in order to begin every file with a title instead of a heading. If you want to store your journal entries with different file names, customize org-journal-file-format.

You can browse through existing journal entries on disk via the calendar. All dates for which an entry is present are highlighted. Pressing j will open it up for viewing. Pressing C-j will open it for viewing, but not switch to it. Pressing [ or ] will select the date with the previous or next journal entry, respectively. Pressing i j will create a new entry for the chosen date.

Quick summary:

In calendar view:

When viewing a journal entry:

A typical journal entry for a day would look like this:

(it will actually look a lot nicer, depending on your org-mode settings)

  * Tuesday, 06/04/13
  ** 10:28 Company meeting
  Endless discussions about projects. Not much progress

  ** 11:33 Work on org-journal                                   :org_journal:
  For the longest time, I wanted to have a cool diary app on my
  computer. However, I simply lacked the right tool for that job. After
  many hours of searching, I finally found PersonalDiary on EmacsWiki.
  PersonalDiary is a very simple diary system based on the emacs
  calendar. It works pretty well, but I don't really like that it only
  uses unstructured text.

  Thus, I spent the last two hours with making that diary use org-mode
  and represent every entry as an org-mode headline. Very cool!

  ** 15:33 Work on org-journal                                   :org_journal:
  Now my journal automatically creates the right headlines (adds the
  current time stamp if on the current day, does not add a time stamp
  for any other day). Additionally, it automatically collapses the
  headlines in the org-file to the right level (shows everything if in
  view mode, shows only headlines in new-entry-mode). Emacs and elisp
  are really cool!

  ** 16:40 Work on org-journal                                   :org_journal:
  I uploaded my journal mode to marmalade and Github! Awesome!

  ** TODO teach org-journal how to brew coffee                   :org_journal: