Life Management Tools (Need to get using them...)

Someone mentioned yesterday an old "truism" that you have to choose any two of "work, family and friends". I know you don't have to, but it takes a bit more time-management than I've been applying lately.

So, I finally got the "get a calendar and todo list started" task off the todo list. Started off by adding the various OLPC presentations, meetings and talks for the month to it. It looks a lot less daunting when it's just 6 little boxes surrounded by all that "free" space. Of course, a couple of those boxes are actually whole-day events, but oh well, it's still psychologically comforting.

Lightning (a Thunderbird plugin to do todo/calendar stuff) is okay, but it's got a few minor issues in workflow/usability (e.g. you can't AFAICS make the default calendar view a "monthly" view, and you can't publish your calendar via ssh/scp/sftp or the like in order to share it with yourself (or the world)). Storing in the existing IMAP server would be a lot more convenient, actually, but that's probably asking too much.

Need to start putting company stuff in too, there's a few must-be-done-ASAP things that have (due to notice being delayed by the move) gone very stale. Must deal with those tonight, but the rest of it all needs to start getting tracked properly so that I can have time for both family and friends, after all, that's the point of the business.


  1. James Tauber

    James Tauber on 10/01/2007 4:39 p.m. #

    I'll soon be launching which is a website for those things you want to do regularly but not necessarily on a specific date. I'd love to get your feedback once it's launched (or sooner if you'd like in on the alpha testing)

  2. Leigh Honeywell

    Leigh Honeywell on 10/01/2007 6:49 p.m. #

    One little nugget about to-do writing that I picked up from the "Getting Things Done" method is the idea of being very specific in your to-dos: not "plan monthly developper meeting" but rather "send email out to list x to announce meeting, book room for meeting, arrange food for meeting" - the specifics make it less daunting, you know what concrete actions you need to take rather than just a nebulous goal :)

  3. Mike Fletcher

    Mike Fletcher on 10/02/2007 8:32 a.m. #

    I read the Wired article on the author of GTD yesterday, so all my todo's are very concrete (today). It's one of the things I wrote about in my thesis with regard to designers getting deadlocked because they are trying to solve all problems simultaneously with nebulous goals. The article made me go "oh yeah, forgot about that".<br />
    <br />
    Has application in almost all complex problem solving situations; e.g. in programming the "throw away your first version" thing is a way of getting a concrete solution that you can critique and move away from. It allows you to drop into local minima/maxima readily (there are tricks to avoid that too, of course), but it does tend to be very "productive".

  4. Sean Reifschneider

    Sean Reifschneider on 10/06/2007 2:37 p.m. #

    The way I (and what I encourage other tummy folks) to tell what tasks need to be broken down into more specific sub-items: If I find I feel apprehension towards doing a task, it probably means that it's not specific enough. If it stays on my daily task list more than a couple of days, or I am continually picking other tasks to do over it.<br />
    <br />
    I've just noticed that tasks that aren't broken out well enough I have a very hard time starting and I feel physically upset about thinking about working them. I can often literally feel it in my stomach when a task on my list isn't well enough broken out.<br />
    <br />

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