Merlin Mann's 43 Folders weblog is a site where he's been chronicling his efforts to adapt the lessons of the stupendous productivity book Getting Things Done
(I've bought and given away 10 copies since reading it earlier this year) to a technological workflow: in other words, he's porting suit productivity to geek lifestyles.
He's just posted part one of a roundup of his lessons learned from a year of pursuing the lessons of Getting Things Done (more to come tomorrow). It's really good stuff, and it's helped me make sense of my last decade's work.
In a previous life as a producer and project manager for some good-sized web projects, I once approached my work with a completely baseless optimism and sense of possibility that I had absolutely no business feeling--let alone foisting off on others as way to guide big projects. Especially given how extravagantly long-range I now realize most of those projects' aspirations really were. Yikes. Simpler times.
The reality is that projects change, and projects break; that's what they do. It's their job. The smaller your project is, and the shorter the distance there is between "here" and "there," the less likely you are to have to chuck it and start over for reasons you couldn't possibly have foreseen when you were knitting up them fancy GANTT charts for Q3/2007.
You know how it works with The Big Plan. Projects kick off, a series of heavy documents with 4-color covers is produced and distributed, everyone gets pumped for a week or two, and then somewhere, somehow, along the way, changes start to rain down, and the pretty, pretty plans for the next 3/6/9/12 months go completely to hell, often taking team morale and productivity right along with them. Say what you will about the volatility of go-go dotcoms and the nature of venture IT projects, but two bald facts won't wipe away: things always change, and Big Project Plans make great door stops.
Since picking up GTD, I've gotten more comfortable with employing informal, "back of the envelope" planning to derive very short-term goals and actions. Clients in particular seem to really like this. It helps them keep a handle on the tab, plus they all enjoy seeing one piece of the work rolling out every month or so. All without the need for endless commitments, rosaries, or finger crossing.
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]
Unless you’re a programmer or webmaster, the term SQL probably doesn’t mean much to you. But for those looking to understand more about how and why the web works the way that it does, know this – SQL and its process of managing and presenting large data sets is everywhere…and it’s the most in-demand programming […]