Helm at the Emacs

| categories: emacs, helm | tags:

I have written several (intro , multiple args , prefix args) times about using Helm in Emacs so far. Today, I want to share a way I use helm to get me where I want to be in Emacs for my daily activities. This came out of a desire to have single command that would give me a lot of options to open exactly the buffer/file I wanted when I need it. I call the command hotspots, and it is bound to f9 for me, so when I press f9 I get a helm buffer to select what I want from.

So, what kinds of things do I want. First, I want to be able to open my mail, calendar, News feed or agenda from this command. Second, I have a list of hotspots I developed using the code at http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/emacs_hotkey_open_file_fast.html , which I want easy access to. Third, I want to be able to open any org-file in my agenda list. Fourth, any bookmark I have, or to set a bookmark. Fifth, I want recent files as candidates. There is certainly some redundancy in their, but that is ok, it gets me where I want to be.

Here is the code that does that for me. There are six helm sources that provide candidates and actions.

(defun hotspots ()
  "helm interface to my hotspots, which includes my locations,
org-files and bookmarks"
  (helm :sources `(((name . "Mail and News")
                    (candidates . (("Mail" . (lambda ()
                                               (if (get-buffer "*mu4e-headers*")
                                                     (switch-to-buffer "*mu4e-headers*")

                                   ("Calendar" . (lambda ()  (browse-url "https://www.google.com/calendar/render")))
                                   ("RSS" . elfeed)
                                   ("Agenda" . (lambda () (org-agenda "" "w")))))
                    (action . (("Open" . (lambda (x) (funcall x))))))
                   ((name . "My Locations")
                    (candidates . (("master" . "~/Dropbox/org-mode/master.org")
                                   (".emacs.d" . "~/Dropbox/kitchingroup/jmax" )
                                   ("blog" . "~/blogofile-jkitchin.github.com/_blog/blog.org")
                                   ("ese" . "~/Dropbox/books/ese-book/ese.org" )
                                   ("passwords" . "~/Dropbox/org-mode/passwords.org.gpg")
                                   ("Pycse" . "~/Dropbox/books/pycse/pycse.org")
                                   ("references" . "~/Dropbox/bibliography/references.bib")
                                   ("notes" . "~/Dropbox/bibliography/notes.org")
                                   ("journal" . "~/Dropbox/org-mode/journal.org")
                                   ("tasks" . "~/Dropbox/org-mode/tasks.org")))
                    (action . (("Open" . (lambda (x) (find-file x))))))

                   ((name . "My org files")
                    (candidates . ,(f-entries "~/Dropbox/org-mode"))
                    (action . (("Open" . (lambda (x) (find-file x))))))

Interesting to me is that there are not a lot of actions in here. I mostly use this command for navigation to various places. For example, I press f9, type meet, and I can quickly get to the meetings file in my agenda list, or I can type the first few letters of a student's name and open the org-file associated with them. Or I press f9 and go down an entry to open my calendar, etc… I find this enormously helpful because it opens these files no matter where I am in Emacs, and it relieves my mind from remembering where they are, or the keystrokes/commands to get to them.

Copyright (C) 2015 by John Kitchin. See the License for information about copying.

org-mode source

Org-mode version = 8.2.10

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