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Progressive Summarization in Org Mode

Tiago Fortes progressive summarization is a way to make notes progressively more useful as you come back to them.

For your level 2 notes, you can use the * to bold text. I found this blog post that recommented the smart-parens package. If you are using Doom Emacs smart parens will be loaded for you. You will want to add some config so that org mode will wrap text in * when you highlight and hit * key.

(sp-with-modes '(org-mode)
(sp-local-pair "*" "*"))

Next, you need to be able to highlight text for your level 3 notes. Out of the box, emacs won't do this for you. I don't need to export my notes anywhere so I just want org mode to highlight text for me.

Enter org-emphasis-alist. In doom emacs, you can customize variables with SPC h v. Next enter org-emphasis-alist. I choose to use the = for my highlights. To cusomize this character, hit the value menu key of the character you want to cusomize. Next hit INS key. This will produce two fields: Key and Value. You can add the key of :background and the value of "Yellow". I want to make sure that my text is black so hit INS again to add Key: :foreground, Value: "black".

Now you'll want to hit apply and save. Org Mode will need to be restarted with M-x org-mode-restart. Now you should see your highlights showing up.

I added = to my smartparens list:

(sp-with-modes '(org-mode)
(sp-local-pair "*" "*")
(sp-local-pair "=" "="))

I dont like looking at the emphasis markers so I've opted to have org-mode hide them from me: SPC h v then type org-hide-emphasis-markers and set it to t