Getting Things Done with Tracks

I've been using an OmniOutliner document to track tasks and hopefully prevent things from slipping through the cracks. It works quite well, especially when combined with kGTD to help prioritize and filter tasks as they start to pile up, but it's limited to a file on one computer. So, I can't easily add stuff from my Powerbook at home. And I can't access it when I'm not sitting in front of my G5. Sure, I can sync the file, and export it to the web, and print it, and sync it to my iPod, and to iCal, etc… but that's a pain, and not bulletproof.

I was doing some Googling for other "getting things done" packages, and found a reference to Tracks. It's a Ruby on Rails app that provides the streamlined context/project interface on top of a plain to-do list. So, I threw a copy of it on my Dreamhost server (it's got all of these bells and whistles just sitting idle, which would be a shame). It Just Worked. I had to refer to the Dreamhost wiki to see how to best set up a Rails app to be served by Apache, but that was pretty darned easy.

The hardest part of the whole install was figuring htf to create an account – open the "signup" url, and you're good to go.

Performance is a bit lacking, but the entire network is feeling slowish today. It's not fatally slow, anyway. I've added in most of my current projects, and it's already helped me to see at a glance what's the most important set of tasks to be working on.

And it's the first non-Drupal tool I've installed in a while, which is a welcome change 🙂

Tracks - Getting Things Done in RailsTracks – Getting Things Done in Rails

Update: Bonus. Now I’ve got multiple RSS feeds to keep me up to date on upcoming important tasks and deadlines…

I've been using an OmniOutliner document to track tasks and hopefully prevent things from slipping through the cracks. It works quite well, especially when combined with kGTD to help prioritize and filter tasks as they start to pile up, but it's limited to a file on one computer. So, I can't easily add stuff from my Powerbook at home. And I can't access it when I'm not sitting in front of my G5. Sure, I can sync the file, and export it to the web, and print it, and sync it to my iPod, and to iCal, etc… but that's a pain, and not bulletproof.

I was doing some Googling for other "getting things done" packages, and found a reference to Tracks. It's a Ruby on Rails app that provides the streamlined context/project interface on top of a plain to-do list. So, I threw a copy of it on my Dreamhost server (it's got all of these bells and whistles just sitting idle, which would be a shame). It Just Worked. I had to refer to the Dreamhost wiki to see how to best set up a Rails app to be served by Apache, but that was pretty darned easy.

The hardest part of the whole install was figuring htf to create an account – open the "signup" url, and you're good to go.

Performance is a bit lacking, but the entire network is feeling slowish today. It's not fatally slow, anyway. I've added in most of my current projects, and it's already helped me to see at a glance what's the most important set of tasks to be working on.

And it's the first non-Drupal tool I've installed in a while, which is a welcome change 🙂

Tracks - Getting Things Done in RailsTracks – Getting Things Done in Rails

Update: Bonus. Now I’ve got multiple RSS feeds to keep me up to date on upcoming important tasks and deadlines…

Baby steps to decreasing distractions

Merlin Mann (through his awesome 43Folders blog) just posted some tips to help decrease distractions via email. Glaringly obvious stuff. But, stuff that I wasn’t really thinking about.

So I just did something radical. I quit both Mail and Blogbridge. I’ll fire them up a couple/few times a day, but they don’t need to be open all of the time, just begging me to pay attention to the new, urgent, and interesting stuff that might be waiting for me.

Next up – updating/maintaining my kGTD über-ToDo list.

And, yes, I’m aware of the irony of responding to an always-on RSS feed that is suggesting that things don’t need to be always-on…

Merlin Mann (through his awesome 43Folders blog) just posted some tips to help decrease distractions via email. Glaringly obvious stuff. But, stuff that I wasn’t really thinking about.

So I just did something radical. I quit both Mail and Blogbridge. I’ll fire them up a couple/few times a day, but they don’t need to be open all of the time, just begging me to pay attention to the new, urgent, and interesting stuff that might be waiting for me.

Next up – updating/maintaining my kGTD über-ToDo list.

And, yes, I’m aware of the irony of responding to an always-on RSS feed that is suggesting that things don’t need to be always-on…

Getting Things Done with OmniOutliner

I just did a quick Google for OmniOutliner todo-list templates, to see what ideas others have come up with to help manage the flow of tasks and demands, and found Kinkless Getting Things Done – a set of templates and scripts for OmniOutliner to help categorize and prioritize stuff that needs doing.

Very impressive stuff – it helps you define context (where/when something needs to be done) and then sets up a set of views on your projects and actions to help you get through them efficiently (or, in my case, without getting distracted by shiny tangents. OOH! A tangent! I should follow that! Wait…)

I don’t really want to provide a screenshot at the moment, because I’m more than a little embarrassed by just how far behind I’ve let myself get. Once I’ve caught up, maybe I’ll post an update 😉 In the meantime, check out the screenshots and (free) downloads on the kGTD website.

I just did a quick Google for OmniOutliner todo-list templates, to see what ideas others have come up with to help manage the flow of tasks and demands, and found Kinkless Getting Things Done – a set of templates and scripts for OmniOutliner to help categorize and prioritize stuff that needs doing.

Very impressive stuff – it helps you define context (where/when something needs to be done) and then sets up a set of views on your projects and actions to help you get through them efficiently (or, in my case, without getting distracted by shiny tangents. OOH! A tangent! I should follow that! Wait…)

I don’t really want to provide a screenshot at the moment, because I’m more than a little embarrassed by just how far behind I’ve let myself get. Once I’ve caught up, maybe I’ll post an update 😉 In the meantime, check out the screenshots and (free) downloads on the kGTD website.

Simplifying

Inspired by Brian’s newfound love for Getting Things Done, I’ve decided that it’s time for something to finally give way here as well. I’ll be simplifying a lot of things, starting with my insane collection of RSS feeds.

I just unsubscribed from 150 feeds. That’s more than many people subscribe to in total. And I could probably prune a further 100 or so feeds if I try a little. Sure, I won’t be reading all of my news directly from the horse’s mouths, but I’m sure anything important and/or interesting will still find its way to me after only a slight delay to account for network lag.

Next up is resurrecting my to-do list, with priorities and milestone dates, powered by the amazingly powerful and flexible OmniOutliner Pro…

Inspired by Brian’s newfound love for Getting Things Done, I’ve decided that it’s time for something to finally give way here as well. I’ll be simplifying a lot of things, starting with my insane collection of RSS feeds.

I just unsubscribed from 150 feeds. That’s more than many people subscribe to in total. And I could probably prune a further 100 or so feeds if I try a little. Sure, I won’t be reading all of my news directly from the horse’s mouths, but I’m sure anything important and/or interesting will still find its way to me after only a slight delay to account for network lag.

Next up is resurrecting my to-do list, with priorities and milestone dates, powered by the amazingly powerful and flexible OmniOutliner Pro…