Please add your own questions and answers to this list of frequently asked questions for PlannerMode! =)

Frequently asked questions for PlannerMode

Planner looks so complicated! Where do I start?

There is a comprehensive manual available at

Take a look at PlannerModeQuickStart.

People have different ways of planning, and it’s hard to cover all the different ways people plan in one document. If you’re new to planning or to planner.el, please post your questions on the mailing list at We’d like to hear about how you currently plan and how you’d like to plan. =)

Do I really need Gnus, w3m and all these other things just to be able to use planner?


If you live in Emacs, you’ll get the nice side-benefit of hyperlinks to almost everything. If you don’t, you can still use planner as a nicely-colored, extremely customizable, keyboard-shortcut-rich TODO manager.

Do I really need to read planning philosophy before using Planner?

No, you could use planner however you want. That said, reading things like PlannerModeCommentary and PlannerModeMethods will help you get an idea of how other people plan their day, and may inspire you to improve your process.

Help! I have too many tasks on my day pages! What should I do?

- Use undated tasks. If you don’t have to do something on or by a certain date, leave it undated by specifying “nil” at the date prompt. You can review your undated tasks by opening your plan pages. You can schedule tasks with C-c C-c (planner-copy-or-move-task). Tip: Before you complete a task, make sure it’s scheduled for today. That way, when you complete it, the entry also shows up in today’s page--great for writing accomplishment reports. You can use C-u C-c C-c (universal prefix to planner-copy-or-move-task) to reschedule a completed task if you make a mistake.

- If you prefer to use dated tasks for everything, procrastinate ruthlessly. You can specify +n when asked for a date, where n is the number of days from now. For example, +7 means work on this task a week from today. This keeps today’s page a manageable size.

How do I link tasks to multiple PlanPages?

Use planner-multi.

Do I really have to publish my plans?

No, you don’t have to. In fact, you don’t have to make anything public.

Why doesn't manual editing of tasks just work?

We haven’t figured out how to pick up the changes automatically. Unless you use planner-id.el.

How do I change a task then?

Use planner-edit-task-description to change a task description, or require planner-id to edit your tasks manually. Use planner-replan-task to change the plan page a task is associated with.

What about syncing with PDAs?

JohnWillis has been doing some work on syncing between MacOsx and his PalmPilot using Plucker at

AlexWhite has ical export for appointments and unfinished tasks with PDA sync. Described on

Do I really have to use WikiNames for Plan page names? What are "short tags" with planner-multi?

You can use non-wikiname pages if you want. Use double-brackets to force a link to a non-wiki name. For example, [[grad]] looks like ’grad’ and could be your shortcut for grad school. I use the name “short tags” to refer to them, but that’s just because I got hooked on and refers to labels as “tags”. =)

If the file already exists, planner-mode can link to it with one of these “short tags”. If the file already exists, it isn’t created at a planner-mode file, it is just linked. The even works with most TrampMode links.

What do I do with all the patches on the mailing list?

People often share their tweaks by sending patches to the mailing list. You can apply patches with M-x ediff-patch-file .

How do i refer to a non CamelCase planner page?

You can enclose links in brackets like this: [[planner]]. Non-camel-case links might be easier for you to read, so try them out!

Also, this enables links to NON-planner pages, so you can add hot links to any of your other files in planner files. [[~/.elisp]], [[/ssh:user@remote:public_html/index.html]].

How do I create recurring schedule entries?

You can use planner-diary.el for recurring appointments through the Emacs Diary. Check the Diary sections in the Planner documentation and EmacsManual for more information. For recurring tasks, you can use planner-cyclic.el to create tasks based on diary entries in a separate file.

How do I force a specific planner page to NOT use CamelCase but instead only highlight links that are in [[square brackets]]?

Can someone answer this question? Preferably, it would be some special markup that turns off CamelCase interpretation on a specific page.

This is a bit of an ugly hack but if you bind the following function to a convenient key:

(defun insert-zero-width-space ()
  "Insert a zero-with no break space to stop auto-Wiki links!"
  (insert "\ufeff"))

Then, assuming you have a font that includes this character (it’s the Arabic Presentation Forms-B area), you can put a zero-width space between the two words giving the appearance of a single word in CamelCase. If you don’t have this character then you can use the character \u200b in the General Punctuation area. This is a zero-width space; the disadvantage of using it is that the words might break apart at a line ending.

Planner can be used with non-ascii text (latin-1, utf-8)?

Yes! I actually use planner with EUC-JP.