I have installed Deft to my Emacs, so I will describe its most basics in this post.

What is deft

Deft is an Emacs major mode for quickly browsing and creating notes. It is inspired by Notational Velocity, and you can search text files matching a given text. You can use it with org-mode, but it is not limited to searching org files. You can search any types of plain text file matching extensions you configure. See video in this tutorial to get a feeling of deft.

Minimal setup

If you are using Spacemacs, activate Deft layer.

A minimal setup of deft is to set deft-directory variable:

(setq deft-directory "~/deft")

A lot of examples on the web are setting this value to ~/org, but I adopted org-mode and deft at the same time, and I put Markdown files as well as Org files in the directory, so I named the directory as ~/deft. The directory is for deft, and not for org-mode, but it is mostly a matter of preference.

A more through configuration is coming soon.


On Spacemacs, you can start deft with SPC a n.

Deft layer on Spacemacs defines keybindings starting with SPC, but those keybindings are not useful in a deft buffer. I recommend you stick with the default keybindings starting with C-c. You have to remember only C-c, and Spacemacs will suggest the rest.

Helm implementation?

I thought deft should have been implemented on top of Helm. There is helm-deft implementing the idea, but I have not tried it yet. It appears to be doing the right thing, but it does not seem to be attracting attentions.

Wrapping up

This is just the very basics of Emacs Deft. I am using a more complex setup of Deft, and I will describe it later.