I use VIM for editing most everything – have for years. For the helluvit I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about Emacs, so I gave up VIM and went all-in with Emacs for 2 weeks. By all-in I mean everything. Everyone says you can pretty much live in Emacs so that’s what I tried to do. I switched from using Things to org-mode for my To Do lists and dumped Tinderbox for, well, more org-mode for time tracking and quick notes.

I wrote code with it and read every Emacs tip, trick and article I could find. What is supposed to happen is that the process of hard-wiring the brain to type everything with either the Control or Alt keys becomes easier. It didn’t. Not easier enough anyway.

It was fun while it lasted. Here’s what I liked.

  • Emacs can do anything. Really, anything.
  • Org-Mode is awesome. It has everything a text-driven geek needs to run his or her life.
  • AquaEmacs is very good at making Emacs feel like a real OS X app.

But, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the key commands. Yes, I’ve remapped the Caps Lock key to Control, but it still forces my hands into awkward contortions. After an hour of coding my fingers would start to cramp up and complain. I gotta say, I didn’t miss VIM’s “beep mode” but I’ve switched back to VIM just the same.