unblocking the flow and Getting Things Done

July 18, 2008

You may have already heard of “Getting Things Done”, by David Allen, but if not then I recommend you take 20 mins to investigate, when you have time.

Its less about macro life-development (although it takes this into account), its more about the nitty gritty of daily chore, and allowing yourself to get things done by removing the clutter and applying very simple processes to keep on top of everything.

The wikipedia article on Getting Things Done (GTD) gives an overview, and at the end there are links to extracts from the book itself that are published by Business Week magazine

I came across GTD whilst improving the way I handle the flow of email into (and hopefully out of) my inbox, and many of the techniques seem very sound and ostensibly match my own experiences.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I think that I will once I move from visioning towards action, after the summer hols

Classifying collaboration systems

March 11, 2008

When I first began to explore social media technologies I came to realise that many of them shared similar characterstics, although there were also very clear distinctions between each type of service. I came up with the following list of attributes that can define many collaboration technologies:

  • Structure: Pre-planned tree / web, or tag captured – structure may apply to storage and / or to search and retrieval mechanism
  • Time Flow: Stream or Static
  • User-editable: none, footnotes /comments, full
  • Delivery: Push (to mail inbox), Pull (browse to)

If you consider for a moment blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and mailing groups you might see the significance of each attribute.

Of course I have since realised that this was focussed more on factual data media, rather than on relationship and brokering media, common in social networks systems, and possibly a spectrum between the extremes. There is clearly room to expand this list of attributes, but at least this is a start.

OpenSync – how wide is your definition of synchronisation?

February 24, 2008

I found this whilst pondering the question “so will using Thunderbird as my email client scupper my use of Windows Mobile devices, such as my phone?”

OpenSync – Trac

I wanted to keep it not only because it might one day give a potential solution to such issues, but also because it deals with some of the more fundamental questions of unblocking the flow of various types of data from one device to another. Synchronisation must always address questions of conflict resolution, and a paper that came out of this project helps discuss the matter… presentation from FOSDEM 2007

letting go – how bloggers release the flow

February 13, 2008

One of the things that led to my realisation was something I wrote not long ago, as part of an encouragement for anyone considering releasing their ideas via a weblog, rather than keeping them closely guarded

– don’t block your ideas
– tell, share, give

If you protect your ideas like a scientific formula you want to patent
protect, then you will have to go through an enormous effort and
expense to realise them. If instead you store them in a public place,
then you allow other people to help you achieve them, or even develop
them to a point further ahead than you might have even believed

Flow is …

February 10, 2008

A simple, banal, yet profound realisation…

Information shares one very common property with other entities such as energy, water and even money:

to benefit from its value, you must let it flow