I should just get really good at Emacs

Last week during a hectic couple of days at the office, I dropped out of Emacs/Mu4e/Org/etc. and used my old” apps instead. I didn’t have time to figure out how to best search for files in Projectile or why mbsync is being so slow or how to easily read multiple emails at once in Mu4e. My usual apps had me covered. I didn’t have time to look up the best way to do a fancy find-and-replace of a large text file in Emacs. I already know how to do that in BBEdit.

It occurred to me that when I have the time and am not feeling lazy, using Emacs for things like email and task management is superior. Superior, but harder. When something’s urgent, I don’t have time to figure everything out right then, and I tell myself that dammit, I shouldn’t have to! So, I ditch Org-mode and Mu4e and most of Emacs and go back to Things or OmniFocus and Mail.app or Mailmate and BBEdit and everything gets easier.

Trouble is, I don’t think it gets better. The problem is simply that I’m not good enough at Emacs. I’ve changed the way I use Emacs so often that, even though I’ve used it for years, I haven’t had time to get really good at it.

First it was Spacemacs, then Doom Emacs, then I rolled my own, then back to Spacemacs, and now, finally, back to rolling my own. Each of the starter kits” does everything differently, meaning muscle memory isn’t helpful since it doesn’t work once I switch everything around…again.

I have a theory that this would not be a problem if I focused and spent the time to get better at using Emacs. By Emacs I mean vanilla Emacs with a few hand-crafted customizations. No one will change key bindings out from under me or introduce a behavior I didn’t expect.

I will simply need to bury myself in it, learn the native keybindings, tweak what annoys me, and improve my skills through repetition and study.

For starters, I probably shouldn’t be writing this in Typora 😣.

May 29, 2019 · emacs

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