beorg is an iOS app to help you manage your agenda, tasks and notes. It uses a simple plaintext file format compatible with a powerful system called Org mode. Edit the files on your computer in any editor - or use Org-mode in Emacs for maximum power. Org mode extensions are also available for Atom, VScode, ViM and other editors.
This manual was last updated for beorg 2.0.
You can install beorg from the App Store onto your iPhone and/or iPad. When you run beorg for the first time you will need to setup syncing your org files. Either Dropbox or WebDAV can be used.
If you don't have any org files just create an empty folder in Dropbox or on your WebDAV share and you can create files from within beorg.
The agenda is the default screen shown when beorg is started. It shows the tasks for each day in the current week. A task in the agenda is a heading in one of your org files which has a scheduled date, deadline or active date.
Figure 1: The agenda tab
You can perform the following actions on a task:
Figure 2: Editing an item from the agenda
Figure 3: Changing the state of a task from the agenda
At the bottom right is a button to show the Quick Capture dialog.
Also at the bottom are buttons to allow you to change the week shown.
The TODO tab lists each org file and the tasks, including ones without dates. A summary is shown of the number of tasks and how many are overdue.
Figure 4: The TODO tab
The same actions that are available on the Agenda tab are available on the TODO tab.
Files is split into two sections. At the top are your favorite files. Next are all the files in beorg.
Figure 5: The Files tab
To add to favorites swipe on a file from left to right then tap Add. To remove do the same from the favorites section.
Figure 6: Adding a file to favorites
To delete a file swipe from right to left and tap delete. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.
You can add a new file by tapping the add button on the navigation bar at the top of the screen.
Figure 7: Creating a new file
The Settings tab allows you to setup beorg.
Figure 8: The settings tab
The most important section allows you to configure syncing your org files. You can sync files using either Dropbox or WebDAV.
Tasks in beorg can notify you to remind you to get them completed. Tasks with a date but no time will generate a notification at the same time everyday. Change "All day tasks start at" to the time you would like these notifications. Tasks with a time will generate there notification a certain number of minutes before the time set. Set "Timed task reminders" to how many minutes before the set time you would like these to fire.
beorg can show events from your calendars alongside your Org mode tasks. In Settings you can choose which calendars are included in beorg. This is useful if you have duplicates, such as multiple holiday calendars.
By default there are two states for tasks - TODO and DONE. It can be helpful to have more states. For example a task which isn't yet completed could be:
Similarly completed tasks may need different completion statuses. For example:
beorg can sync files with either Dropbox or WebDAV (this includes services such as NextCloud). Once sync is setup then beorg will sync your files when:
As beorg works with files it is possible that a file edited in beorg is not the latest version. If you are using Dropbox then beorg should detect this and a conflict version of the file will be created. You will then need to resolve the conflict outside of beorg. Where possible make sure that you don't have unsaved files on your computer that you are going to edit in beorg.
You can view and edit files in beorg. To show a file either tap an agenda or todo item, or select the file itself from the files tab.
A file is shown as an outline. An outline is an organised hierarchy of text. You may sometimes see items in an outline referred to as nodes. An item can contain other items, known as it's children. A headline can also contain text. Here is an example of what beorg writes when you save a file you've been working on:
* Headline 1 ** Headline 1.1 Some text belonging to headline 1.1 ** Headline 1.2 * Headline 2
beorg allows you to fold (that is show/hide it's children) an item in the outline. To show/hide the children of an item tap on the left hand side of the screen on the headline. You can see if an item has it's children hidden because it will contain a triangle pointing right. If it's children are shown then the triangle will point down. An item with no children will show as an empty circle.
As well as viewing files you can also edit files as well. To edit an existing item tap on the right side of the screen on the headline. So you can see which item is being edited a blue line will appear on it's left.
Figure 9: Editing an item in an outline
You can add a new item to the bottom of the document by tapping the Add Item button.
Figure 10: Adding a new item
The top set of icons in the edit area are as follows:
You should experiment with these tools before using on an important file.
Below these tools is a switch between editing the item's headline and editing the text underneath the headline (sometimes referred to as notes).
When editing an item's headline there are some additional buttons and information which appears:
Figure 11: Editing an items notes
You can view a file as formatted text by tapping the button at the top right of the screen. If you want to view just part of an outline as text long press the item and choose Export from the popup menu. The formatted view of the document or subtree can be exported as a PDF for printing or sharing via an app.
Figure 12: Viewing rendered outline
The long press menu for an item can also be used to copy the item as Org mode text to the clipboard.
Figure 13: Item menu
Whilst you can edit an item from the file its in, often it is more convenient to edit the item itself directly from the agenda.
The edit screen contains the details about the item and its text (or notes).
Figure 14: Editing an item's details
An item can be assigned zero or more dates. A date can be:
It is often useful to set both a scheduled and deadline date for an item which is a multi-day project.
In addition to an item being assigned a specific day it can also be given a time.
The date/time editor allows you to quickly set a date to today or tomorrow, and to move forward/backwards in increments of 1 or 7 days at a time. At the top of the date dialog you can see how many days in the past/future the date is and which day (e.g. Monday) it is.
Figure 15: Setting a date
To add or remove a time to a date tap the clock icon at the top of the dialog. To remove a date (e.g. you've decided not to have a scheduled date now, just a deadline) tap the trash can icon.
Figure 16: Date with a time
The current version of beorg supports date ranges and repeating dates for the agenda and notifications, however these cannot yet be added or edited in beorg itself.
You can quickly add items to your quick capture file in one of two ways:
Figure 17: The quick capture dialog
If you use apps such as Workflow or Drafts then you may find the beorg URL scheme useful. The URL scheme allows you to launch the beorg app and do one of the following:
To add a new item you need to use the URL
beorg://x-callback-url/capture. Without any arguments the quick capture
dialog will be shown. You can also supply the following arguments:
To view the agenda use the URL
To view a file use the URL
beorg://x-callback-url/file with the argument file - e.g.
beorg supports x-success and x-cancel arguments, however they are not mandatory.
beorg writes files using the Org mode syntax. Whilst you can edit these files using any text editor a text editor which understands Org mode will work best. Org mode was written for the Emacs editor - and if you want to use all of the (many) features supported by Org mode then you will want to use Emacs. However there are plugins for other editors including Atom, Visual Studio Code, ViM, Sublime Text and others. These will only support a small fraction of what Org mode is capable of - however beorg only supports a small fraction of the power of the Emacs Org mode anyway!
Org mode is a very rich, capable system. beorg only supports a fraction of what you can do using Org mode in Emacs. beorg is focused on giving you access to your agenda and basic editing of org files whilst using your iOS device. There are many things not supported by beorg. The following are currently not supported but will be in a future version:
To find out more about Org mode - https://orgmode.org/