Matt, this is very useful!  I agree with you, I also tend to create
several org-mode files for a project that is becoming too large.  For
example, I keep a separate org-file for each paper or report, another
with notes, another with analysis (with R code blocks), etc.

One issue is that I use lots of TODO statemens in my files, and when
org-mode files multiply it starts to become difficult to keep the agenda
files list updated.  To do this I use this snippet that I found
somewhere (I do not remember exactly where).  This includes all
org-files in a specific directory (in my case my "Documents" directory)
in the agenda files list.

#+begin_src lisp
;; Load org agenda files
; Do not add agenda files "by hand"
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook
          (lambda ()
            (org-defkey org-mode-map "\C-c["    'undefined)
            (org-defkey org-mode-map "\C-c]"    'undefined))

(load-library "find-lisp")

(add-hook 'org-agenda-mode-hook (lambda () 
(setq org-agenda-files 
      (find-lisp-find-files "/home/julian/Documents" "\.org$"))

With this I can create org-files to my heart's content and I know that
all TODOs statements will show up in the agenda.

All the best,


Julian Mariano Burgos, PhD
Hafrannsóknastofnunin/Marine Research Institute
Skúlagata 4, 121 Reykjavík, Iceland
Sími/Telephone : +354-5752037
Bréfsími/Telefax:  +354-5752001

Matt Lundin writes:

> Marcin Borkowski <> writes:
>> I have an Org-mode file with notes concerning a large project connected
>> with teaching at my university.  One of the headlines is dedicated to
>> one particular course, where I am part of a group developing a concept
>> of this course.  So, one subheadline is devoted to that.  Yet another
>> (subsub)headline is a list if my proposals of things that should be
>> covered during that course, and now it needs 3 more levels down.
>> Summing it up: I have 5 levels of headlines and now I need a sixth
>> one.  So, my question is: what are good practices of other Org-moders?
>> Do you push such a monster to an external file and just include a link
>> to it?  
> If a file grows to large, I simply create a new one. In this instance, I
> would recommend creating a separate file for each course.
> Below you'll find a very hackish helper function that I use to generate
> a new file from a headline. It leaves a link to the new file in the
> original location.
> Best,
> Matt
> --8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
> (defun my-org-file-from-headline (file)
>   (interactive
>    (list
>     (completing-read "File: "
>                      (mapcar 'file-name-nondirectory
>                            (file-expand-wildcards "~/org/*.org"))
>                      nil nil)))
>   (unless (string-match "\\.org$" file)
>     (error "Not an org file"))
>   (save-excursion
>     (beginning-of-line)
>     (unless (org-at-heading-p)
>       (error "Not on a headline")))
>   (let* ((exists (file-exists-p file))
>          (ftags (append
>                  (list (file-name-sans-extension file))
>                  (mapcar 'substring-no-properties org-file-tags)))
>          (headline (nth 4 (org-heading-components)))
>          (org-archive-reversed-order t)
>          (org-archive-location (concat file "::"))
>          (org-archive-save-context-info nil))
>     (org-archive-subtree)
>     (save-excursion (insert "* [[file:" file "][" file "]] - " headline "\n"))
>     (find-file file)
>     (goto-char (point-min))
>     (save-excursion
>       (if (re-search-forward "#\\+FILETAGS:\\(.*\\)$" nil t)
>           (progn
>             (save-match-data
>               (setq ftags
>                     (mapconcat 'identity
>                                (org-uniquify
>                                 (append ftags
>                                         (split-string
>                                          (substring-no-properties
>                                           (match-string 1))))) " ")))
>             (replace-match (concat "#+FILETAGS: " ftags)))
>         (insert "#+FILETAGS: " (mapconcat 'identity ftags " ") "\n"))
>       (goto-char (point-min))
>       (unless (re-search-forward "#\\+CATEGORY:\\(.*\\)$" nil t)
>         (insert "#+CATEGORY: " (file-name-sans-extension file) "\n"))
>       (goto-char (point-min))
>       (when (re-search-forward "^Archived entries from file.+\n" nil t)
>         (replace-match ""))))
>   (write-file file))
> --8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

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