Tools and Workflows I Use
In this blog post I'll be going over some of the tools I use to get things done as well as some workflows and other ways I go about doing things. The purpose of this post is to inspire people to take a look at their other people's workflows and tools and consider what are efficient ways of doing things. The sections for this will be split into what I use in my typical Linux environment, what I use in my emacs system, and any other tools outside of the command line environment I'm usually in. I won't be including the tools that I use for graphic design as the focus of this is more day-to-day things and the occasional programming, so more computer oriented on the Linux system.
If you're reading this you should already know the linux system, if not then it's fine as some of the topic I'll cover can work for systems such as BSD and other UNIX-like systems.
My email client of choice is aerc and not only for the fact that it was built as being a tool for email-based git workflows but also that it works in plaintext and works really well with my mail server. I prefer plaintext of course but I also prefer an email client that just works and is easy to setup. In my system I have the keybindings set for aerc as
Mod + Shift + E, this way it's easy to remember and it's near the home-row on the keyboard. I prefer this over gnus for emails because I found that mbsync is quicker to get setup and much less CPU intensive overall.
My RSS reader of choice has been Newsboat as it's insanely fast at checking the 25 links I have set for it to look though, but also how quick it is to read through multiple articles and save them. I have the keybinding for this set to
Mod + n, this I feel is natural to access, but it can also be accessed either by the i3 bar. I'm a fan of vim-keybindings, and of course newsboat supports those as well, always a plus for me.
I've tried a lot of terminal and GUI applications to go through my music library but none come close to cmus as it's ability to quickly go through and shuffle songs is seamless. It picks up on music tags, is able to play FLAC (and other formats) with no issues, and of course vim-keybindings.
Ranger is my go to for managing files on my main computer, but if I'm on my desktop I will use Dolphin as it's excellent when it comes to managing lots of data. I primarily like ranger because it's quick to use the arrow keys to go about and open a file in whatever program it belongs to.
Now onto emacs, my Text-Editor/IDE of choice as it can do much more than just edit some text.
For all of my digital notes I now primarily use
org-mode, which allows for more in-depth writing and organization.
Within org documents is;
- A spreadsheet editor
evalbuffer for passing in functions and data to be presented on export
- A robust export system that allows for exports to PDF, LaTeX, HTML, and anything else pandoc can handle
- A powerful import feature that allows for the importing of other files into your document
org-agenda is a very powerful tool that I only recently got acquainted with, and it has help to eliminate the stress of using multiple programs to manage schedules and sync them. I don't just have my agendas and todos in one org file, they're spread out across all org docs on my machine, to where emacs can pick those up and add them to my org agenda letting me know when they're due and whatever other info I put in those todos. An example of this is working on some notes in org, adding a TODO tag with other info and setting a data to it, then when I view my org-agenda I can go in and see what's do and click on each todo which will take me to whatever file it's in.
For calendars I use a mix of the built-in emacs calendar and the MELPA plugin emacs-calfw which has the ability to sync any ics files as well as all of my org files to create an interactive calendar that I can access with
Space + l + o. This has mostly eliminated the need for an online calendar but there's only been a few cases where I have gotten requests for a meeting and it just makes sense to sync with my NextCloud Calendar. If I can get WebDAV to sync my NextCloud and emacs calendar then this would of course be the ideal setup, but if that's not possible I might create a simple tool that utilizes WebDAV/CalDAV protocols to sync into a local file and run that on a cron job or something.
Papers and Documents
I've now relegated all my writing to org and just import the LaTeX styling in my
+org.el file so my documents stay easy to parse. Of course there are times where I want to write LaTeX for complex layouts such as my resume or my invoices and I leave that to using LaTeX and AucTeX with Emacs.
I hope that brings some insight into how I do some of my work and what my day-to-day sort of looks like for non-project related things. If you'd like to see my Emacs configs I provide a link to my Doom Emacs configs for others to see here on my Gitea repository.
I wanted to state that don't have any affinity to any sort of software, so if there's something that people would deem problematic about some software or people behind said software I wouldn't really know about it as I just use whatever software helps me do what I need to do and respects my freedoms. I don't advocate said software or creators of said software.