E-Ink org agenda displaying example events

I recently made a post about how I was able to configure the new tab page in my browser to display my org agenda. Since then I've been working on another project similar to that, trying to take the concept even further.

A while ago I purchased an Inkplate 6 during its crowd funding stage on Crowd Supply, with the exact intention of creating something like this.

At the core of the Inkplate 6 is the ESP32. An Arduino-compatible micro-controller with integrated Bluetooth and WiFi. It draws very little power, which makes it ideal for something like this, as I leave on 24/7. It also has the benefit of being able to pull from the Arduino community, benefiting from the many libraries people have created.

The way it works is very similar to the org agenda new tab page. It leverages the exact same agenda-html script, which has been modified to export a text version of the agenda, as well as the HTML version I already used. This script is run by a cron job every 5 minutes. The ESP32 fetches this text agenda export and prints it verbatim onto the screen. This happens on a loop, also every 5 minutes, so it's always up to date with any changes I make to my org files. The Arduino sketch for this project can be found on my github here.

To make the output look as good as possible for display, before exporting to a text file I replace all links with just their description text. I do the conversion because I have a lot of links in my org agenda, and if I don't the full link markup text would show up in the export. It would look like [[https://example.com][Description]] instead of Description, which would be quite ugly and takes up a lot of horizontal space.

This project been hugely beneficial for me. Mostly because I can check my org agenda without even turning on my computer. Even with my PC on, I can look at it any time without having to open either a new tab in my browser or Emacs.

Being an e-ink display, it's also not bright and distracting, and doesn't need to be turned off at night. It sort of just looks like any other appliance.

Between this e-ink version of the org agenda and the new tab version, my usage of the org agenda has gone up substantially. I used to use org for a handful of tasks, but moved over to regular calendar apps for most things, as they were simply more accessible in many situations. Now that I have this e-ink version of the org agenda, I find myself using it for almost everything.