Saturday, April 16, 2005

yoU, Me, and Life

Another discovery from the Ajax blog. It's sticky notes.

I love 43things.com - it's helped me sit down, shut up, and get things done. Wow. No nagging has ever managed this. No pestering. No anything. But an organisational tool, and wham! I'm there.

So much so, while looking at postits, I thought of a new way of coding. You see, at work, we have a lot of postits. When I'm not out the back, hacking code, I occasionally end up standing around doing nothing.

The other day I made a very sexy chart with white paper, blue postits, and flow.

Today, I rethought the concept.
If you've ever seen how orders are dealt with in a restraunt, you'll have noticed they have the slips of paper somewhere near the register, and people pick them up and deal with them. They manipulate things.
My boss is always pestering "when is feature X, Y, Z happening?" Its annoying for him to actually look over my shoulder to see something he can't understand. He knows he can't understand, but he'll poke his nose in.

So - here's how it works. Write all of the basic components out on your postits. Put on a wall just behind your screen - somewhere you can see them. On your right, you have your pending. On your left, you have your done. You pick your task up, stick it on your screen, and do it.

You can stick a handdrawn UML chart up, and stick your postits on it to indicate task completion too.

Pros
  • No one sticks their nose in
  • You can see a visual indication of progress
  • You can collect them at the end of the day and help write your CVS commits
  • Its a real world UML tool, not something on a screen. You can pick it, stick it, and not have to switch between screens / tasks.
Cons
  • It uses a lot of postits.
Now, I was thinking. Life UML is decent. 43things helps you manage your task. So, the cool thing: 43things.com + API + flash based application akin to flickr's organizr. Drag, drop, manipulate. It draws your flow into it, it should be bouncy and like a network - like flickr graph.

Tasks should fold in and out, teams expand, notes, comments, etc - everything with lines between it indicating relationship, and growing larger when you focus on it.

I would kill for an app like that.
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