beorg - a new iOS Org-mode app

September 28, 2017

This is a slightly belated post about the release of beorg - a new iOS Org-mode app.

I’m going to admit to being a relative newcomer to Emacs and Org-mode. Whilst I’ve toyed with Emacs over the years I stuck with Vim since first using it at university in the late 1990s. The concept and polished implementation of Org-mode lead me finally to reconsider Emacs as my main editing environment1 a few months back.

OmmiFocus, Wunderlist, TaskPaper, Trello and other apps have been used over the past few years as a way to keep me organised. My favourite of these is OmniFocus - however since I sometimes use a laptop running Linux and a variety of Android devices its lack of clients for systems other than macOS and iOS has always been a drawback. Emacs and Org-mode however run on any desktop environment and are not at the whim of individual companies to continue development (Wunderlist is an example of a now defunct app).

The big drawback for Org-mode was the lack of an iOS app which shows your current agenda. MobileOrg would only show a pre-built agenda view which would become out of date if away from Emacs for any length of time. Android has the fantastic Orgzly but there was nothing comparable for iOS.

beorg was my answer to how I could move from OmniFocus to Org-mode and have access to everything I need on my iPhone and iPad.

beorg screenshots

The first release of beorg focuses on syncing org files from Dropbox, quick access to a weekly agenda view and local notifications of upcoming scheduled items and deadlines. In addition to this you can also:

  • Change the TODO state of items in the agenda - swipe from right-to-left on an item and pick the new TODO state.
  • Viewing foldable outlines of any synced org file
  • Quick capture of new items and add these to a designated org file - from both within beorg and from other apps using a sharing extension
  • Copy items from an outline and delete items

Dropbox is great, but there are so many other ways people want to sync their org files. Coming soon is support for WebDAV - which should cover users of systems such as ownCloud and Nextcloud. I will look at also adding support for git (not sure yet whether by integrating with apps such as Working Copy or via a built-in client).

Much more comprehensive editing of org files is also planned. Ideally I would love beorg to be used as an outliner, in a similar manner to apps such as OmniOutliner. This will also open up beorg to be used by users who don’t (yet!) use Org-mode and draw in users who may be attracted to systems such as TaskPaper but consider Emacs to be not for them.

beorg is available for download now on the App Store. It is a free app and if you like it please consider supporting future development with an in-app tip.


  1. When not using AppCode/Xcode/Android Studio for mobile app development [return]
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