Now that I’ve transitioned to a more project-y role and a less programmer-y role, I find myself needing to reference my notes far more often (they aren’t just embedded in code) and also keep track of a variety of tasks on multiple projects (again, not well organized on their own in the manner of a source control repository). I’ve started relying on a couple of tools, and I thought I’d share.
I use post-its on my work monitor for immediate bite-sized tasks. This helps me focus when I am drifting, as I am wont to do when my computer is in front of me (it’s just so easy to get into web-browsing or email-sending/reading mode!) The great thing about these post-its is they are easy to get rid of when I complete a task (although a little wasteful?) One bad thing is they are hard to bring with me when I am working elsewhere (not my desk) and also difficult to keep track of progress… I’ll have to ponder that. Maybe little post-it flags attached to the main ones to indicate progress?
I use my little desk whiteboard to keep track of longer-term projects, because it’s set up in a place where I look a lot (and it’s easy to notice when I return to my desk from other locations). That way I have a good mental picture of the ongoing projects, and I can also attach tasks on post-its to projects (by name). Since I remember things visually (where on the page, but not what page number, for example), this means I can construct a good picture of what I have to do.
So far, it’s been working well. I’m a little sad that I am using analog forms to represent this stuff… but maybe I can set up my iPad to be a “digital whiteboard” while I am at my desk? That’d be neat!