10.8 Using Column View in the Agenda
Column view (see Column View) is normally used to view and edit
properties embedded in the hierarchical structure of an Org file. It
can be quite useful to use column view also from the agenda, where
entries are collected by certain criteria.
- C-c C-x C-c (
Turn on column view in the agenda.
To understand how to use this properly, it is important to realize
that the entries in the agenda are no longer in their proper outline
environment. This causes the following issues:
Org needs to make a decision which columns format to use. Since
the entries in the agenda are collected from different files, and
different files may have different columns formats, this is
a non-trivial problem. Org first checks if the variable
org-overriding-columns-format is currently set, and if so, takes
the format from there. Otherwise it takes the format associated
with the first item in the agenda, or, if that item does not have
a specific format (defined in a property, or in its file), it uses
If any of the columns has a summary type defined (see Column attributes), turning on column view in the agenda visits all
relevant agenda files and make sure that the computations of this
property are up to date. This is also true for the special
‘CLOCKSUM’ property. Org then sums the values displayed in the
agenda. In the daily/weekly agenda, the sums cover a single day;
in all other views they cover the entire block.
It is important to realize that the agenda may show the same entry
twice—for example as scheduled and as a deadline—and it may
show two entries from the same hierarchy (for example a parent
and its child). In these cases, the summation in the agenda
leads to incorrect results because some values count double.
- When the column view in the agenda shows the ‘CLOCKSUM’ property,
that is always the entire clocked time for this item. So even in
the daily/weekly agenda, the clocksum listed in column view may
originate from times outside the current view. This has the
advantage that you can compare these values with a column listing
the planned total effort for a task—one of the major
applications for column view in the agenda. If you want
information about clocked time in the displayed period use clock
table mode (press R in the agenda).
When the column view in the agenda shows the ‘CLOCKSUM_T’ property,
that is always today’s clocked time for this item. So even in the
weekly agenda, the clocksum listed in column view only originates
from today. This lets you compare the time you spent on a task for
today, with the time already spent—via ‘CLOCKSUM’—and with
the planned total effort for it.