Thursday, May 8, 2014

Let us become more organized.

We use the reminders app on iOS for sharing to-do's at home, along with a small white-board on the fridge.  This works great for the kinds of things we do at home, and let's be honest, Lisa keeps things up to date, like a Boss. 

But, at work it makes more sense to keep notes and to-do lists in text form.  I work on multiple operating systems and I like to enter notes on whatever system is more convenient at that particular time.  A while back I switched to Markdown for these documents.  It lets me keep the files on Dropbox, and share them between Linux, Mac OS X, and iOS with little hassle.  I thought I would share what I'm doing currently on each of these platforms.

Linux

  • Node JS:  I have a simple Server running on my Work Desktop that serves up all files in my share folder.  One of the files in this folder is a symbolic link to a folder in Dropbox where I keep my work related markdown files.  This server will serve up HTML versions of all my Markdown files.  This lets me share and view these files easily.
  • Sublime Text: I have a licensed copy of Sublime I use to edit my notes. I'm working on some Sublime plugins to help me with repeatable tasks.

Mac OS X

  • Sublime Text: Works on all major desktop operating systems.
  • NVAlt: I'm taking a look at this, but I'm not sure if I like the way files are managed.

iOS

  • Drafts: Gives me the ability to quickly create and append to markdown documents stored on Dropbox.  If I have a quick thing I need to add to a to-do list I can type it and choose where I want the text to go.
  • ByWord: A simple Markdown friendly editor for iOS.
  • Editorial: A great programmable editor for the iPad. I've created scripts for Editorial to add tasks to todo lists, mark them as complete, and even timestamp when they were completed.

General

  • Mingle: We use Mingle to manage stories and tasks. I try not to duplicate the information stored here.

My Ever Changing Workflow

  • I keep a separate directory for each sprint. Something like 'Work/2014/Sprint 7'.  I have a script that creates a new directory and places empty files for things like a to-do list, planning notes, retrospective notes, and demo notes.
  • If I need to add something to my to-do list for a sprint. I use Drafts, ByWord, or Sublime-Text. Which I use depends on where  I am, what platform, and whether its a quick addition, or something more involved.
  • If I need to share these notes with someone, I can simply give them a link to my desktop Node server. That way they will always have the latest version of the file. 
  • As I complete tasks I just add **DONE**.
I mentioned above that I'm writing some Sublime Text plugins to match what I have on Editorial.  I don't always bring my iPad to work.

I hope this helps in some small way.  I'm still trying to be more disciplined about updating my notes. I hope to evolve and update the tools I use while keeping it simple.