Getting things done.

May 1, 2007

Yves Hanoulle, Bernard Vander Beken and others started PairCoaching.net. While not purely .Net or even development focused many of the workshops they organize will be of interest to people working in development teams. But also if you are an independent freelancer (like me) they have a “Getting Things Done” (GTD) workshop that can certainly come in handy. In a one-person ‘company’, there is always work to be done, be it administration, staying-up-to-date, looking for assignments and of course, trying to deliver a good job all the time. But it sometimes seems that when one task is done, two new ones just popped up.
So we need some ways to organize all this work. I already apply a zero-email-bounce rule (ZEB) that I learned from Scott Hanselman and have a special TODO email folder for work-items. Whenever something pops up that I have to investigate or do later I’ll just send myself an email with the necessary links and info. It was a nice surprise to find out that Scott himself was influenced by GTD so I hope to learn during that workshop some more useful tips and tricks on how to organize my work.

Yves and Bernard, good luck with Paircoaching.net !

Have you already been in the situation that you had read an article or blogentry before that has the answer to a problem you are facing now but that you cannot find it back ? Even when trying to find it again by guessing the right keywords with google it escapes you in this huge cyberspace ? To me it happens quite regularly and I guess to everyone who is reading blogs it happens from time to time too.

A solution would be to bookmark all the interesting pages you are reading in your browser and that is what I used to do. But after a while this starts to get quite messy. One reason is that you can only categorize your bookmarks in a hierarchy. Some browsers also allow keywords to be added to bookmarks but using that feature can be pretty cumbersome. Another disadvantage is that we are all working on several computers and then you have the problem of keeping these bookmarks in sync.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have kind of online service where one can store all his bookmarks so that they are synched and that with a good support for keywords ? Seems such a service already exists. It is called ‘delicious’ (what’s in a name ?) and you can find it at http://del.icio.us. About two weeks ago they were acquired by Yahoo and that is how I got to know about them. Some people use it extensively and have hundreds, if not thousands, of bookmarks online. Using it is free, just creating an account and you are ready to go. Oh yeah, there is one caveat, your bookmark list is public, for everyone to read (http://del.icio.us/srillaert). Just something to be aware of…