In prior years, this annual sequence coated open supply group apps like Notmuch and Syncthing. This yr, we’re taking a look at all-in-one options along with methods to assist in 2021. Welcome to day 9 of 21 Days of Productivity in 2021.
I do that factor with my e-mail, my to-do lists, and my notes the place I determine someday I’m going to “get organized” and re-arrange how and the place I retailer issues. Sometimes I’ve discovered a brand new program that I’ve to configure from scratch (once more). Sometimes the present methodology has simply blown as much as the purpose the place I’m spending extra time protecting the storage order updated than I’m utilizing the system. That final one led me to a vital realization after I examined out some to-do listing software program final yr.
Let me begin with an analogy. A activity (or e-mail or word) is like that cool t-shirt you acquired at an occasion. It is black, has an superior graphic, a label within the again with the dimensions, and a tag within the collar with the washing directions. When it comes time to place it away, the place does it go? Does it go together with the black t-shirts? Does it go together with the shirts with related themes? Does it go by measurement? By the way it must be washed? Or by materials?
A t-shirt can solely go in one place, regardless that it could actually have a number of defining qualities. We must deal with duties, emails, and notes the identical method. A very large email provider has allowed us to deal with a label as a folder. An e-mail (or a doc or a activity) could be in two folders without delay! Or three! OR ELEVEN!
I needed to make a aware determination to only cease doing that. Folders aren’t tags, and tags aren’t folders. That led me to my present guidelines for organizing to-do lists (and notes, and emails):
- A activity ought to solely be in a single folder. Folders are named for a “big thing,” like a spot or group. I presently have three folders for duties: “Work,” “Household,” and “Hobbies.” When I’m specializing in one in all these areas, I do know what duties I’m taking a look at.
- A activity can have as many tags as I want for it. I attempt to hold that to about three or fewer.
- A activity ought to have a transparent that means. Maybe that is the identify of this system you might be writing. Perhaps it’s one thing generic like “to read” or “bills” – however it doesn’t make it easier to in the event you can’t keep in mind that “4rg8sn5” is “Bills to Pay.”
Using these guidelines, if I’ve a activity for “Write Day 9 Article,” it goes into the “Hobbies” folder, and I tag it “OSDC,” “Articles,” “2021.” If I need to see all my duties for 2021 in my Elementary Planner, I can seek for that tag. The activity results in searches for “OSDC” – which could additionally embrace a to-do to touch upon an article, one to begin planning the 2022 sequence, and one to comply with up with somebody who I feel has a great article thought.
My “Work” folder normally has issues tagged by venture. “Finish Admin CLI Docs” could be categorised as “github,” “prod,” and “admin.” The “docs” tag accommodates gadgets from the “Work” and “Hobbies” folders since writing docs is one thing that must be performed for each.
Making the psychological separation between “Tags” and “Folders” has helped me group and kind my duties with out overdoing it. It additionally means I can discover issues sooner, spend much less time sustaining my to-do lists, and extra time doing the issues on the listing.