Getting Things Done

A GTD tip: When you’re sorting things at home and you come across something that should be in a different room, resist the urge to take it there straight away. That disrupts your flow. Instead put it in a pile of things to take to another room, and take them there later.

Perhaps each room should have an inbox in case you know that it needs to be in that room but you haven’t decided exactly where yet. Just remember to clear the inboxes as soon as possible!

I have spent the evening wading through piles of documentation and putting it into my new GTD alphabetical filing system. It feels good to have one place for all reference material. I started off analysing everything, putting it into date order, deciding what to throw away, but quickly decided i couldn’t manage all that. For the first iteration i have simply been putting things into folders.

I’ve chosen SimpleGTD.com as my preferred online GTD system. It’s really easy to enter actions and move them around and assign them to projects if you want to, but you don’t have to. Nicely AJAX-ified to make things faster. For times when i’m offline i have a little notebook to act as an inbox for thoughts until they can go in the online system.

It’s pretty cool to see how the online and offline can integrate. My sweet husband placed a £5 off Boots No 7 voucher in my inbox today. I created an action “Use No 7 voucher” under the context “Winchester” and the project “Actionable”. In my physical filing system i made a folder called “Actionable” into which i placed the voucher. So when i’m next going into town i can look under the context and remember where to find the voucher!

Well, that’s the idea! Let’s hope it works! I’ve always liked the idea of being super organised … just never really known how to do it. I really think GTD might work for me.

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I have such a good job!

How cool is it that i can spend the day doing fun stuff like this and get paid for it?!

New ykyat.com home page

This is how ykyat.com looks now!

Commenting on ykyat.com

See – you can comment now!

RSS feeds from ykyat.com

And you can get RSS feeds!

If you’re on Twitter, why don’t you join in! It’s fun! The hashtag is #ykyat – you know you’re addicted to. Think of something you’re addicted to, and something that proves it. E.g.

#ykyat your job when you blog all about it!

Or, go on http://ykyat.com and make some comments, or vote up your favourite addictions!

I do love my job! :)

Addicted – a web app in a day!

Today was a rather different day at work – when we arrived we learnt that we were going to build a web app in a day! Just for fun! This morning there was no ykyat.com. Now there is! We bought the domain, built the app, registered the Twitter account (@ykyat), got it importing data … oh, it was a lot of fun!

ykyat - you know you're addicted to ...

The application scans Twitter to find out what people are addicted to, in the form “You know you’re addicted to x when …” It sucks up the tweets, categorises them, lets you vote them up and down.

Being the person with previous experience of the Twitter API it was my responsibility to get the data in and send an @reply to people who use the hashtag #ykyat. My colleagues worked on the models, routes, user interface, interaction, the rating system, and getting it live and working on EC2.

It was great fun all to be working on the same thing together, and the challenge of doing the whole thing in one day! Credit to my colleagues for being so great to work with – it was a bit hectic at times! Huge credit to my boss, @chrismdp for thinking up the idea (yesterday!) conveying it to us, and directing us all to achieve it. I reckon that is pretty impressive!

It looks as if there will be a series on the Eden Development blog about how we did it! :)

Let's Disqus!

Just a little notice to say that i have enabled Disqus on my blog. It’s a pretty clever tool that links up comments on blogs all over the Internet. When you hover over the picture of somebody who has commented on my blog, you also see some of the comments they have left on other blogs. You might also see their Twitter status, or get a link to their Flickr account, their Delicious account, their Facebook.

Here’s an example of how it can look:

Disqus

It’s a really neat way of bringing the web closer together. For me it’s also a great advantage in that it immediately gave me nested comments and the ability to send email replies to people who have commented. I thought i was going to have to make some fairly hefty changes to my WordPress theme in order to enable nested comments, but it turns out Disqus can just do it all for me!

Oh yes, you also get to rate other people’s comments up or down, youtube-stylee! ;)

Disqus is particularly good in that it works across multiple blogging platforms. So i installed the WordPress plugin, but there are also plugins for Blogger, Moveable Type, Tumblr and more. Wouldn’t it be great if LiveJournal would take it up? :)

Thank you to ChrisMDP for finding Disqus and telling me about it! :)

#uksnow results!

It worked!!

#uksnow results!

Generated purely from people around the country sending tweets with their location and marks out of 10 for snow!

I gave a 9/10 for Winchester! It is beautiful soft powdery snow, slightly crunchy under-foot. Wonderful! It’s still coming down thick and fast now, and apparently will do all day!

Welcome to Winchester

Pretty pretty

I love how milk deliveries in the UK are always so reliable! They will do their utmost to deliver milk if they possibly can.

Snowy milk!

Twitter: you're doing it right!

Some days Twitter can be such a buzz! What you get out of it is closely correlated to what you put into it, in my experience.

  • You’re @replying to multiple people having multiple conversations simultaneously.
  • You’re sending direct message to someone to arrange a meetup.
  • You’re following a trending topic on twitterfall.com and participating using the hashtag.
  • You look at pictures related to the trending topic and make comments on TwitPic.
  • You make a blog post, add a link on Delicious, make a comment on 43Things, tick off a task on MyChores, it all gets updated on Twitter.
  • You catch onto a meme and help spread it and promote the mashup.

All these things and more have happened to me today! My tweeting activity has earned me 6 new followers, and i started following 2 new people.

In this case the trending topic is #uksnow, and the mashup is benmarsh.co.uk/snow. Make a tweet like this to register your postcode and marks out of ten for snow fall. The map will update automatically!

#uksnow SO23 2/10

The only thing i didn’t do today is re-tweet anybody. I still haven’t got the hang of re-tweeting. I briefly used Twitterfox which made it easy, but i still prefer to go directly to twitter.com for instant results!

GitHub in the Crunchies!

If you feel so inclined, you might like to vote for GitHub as the best bootstrapped startup of 2008 in the Crunchie awards.

I am extremely fond of GitHub and the joy and collaboration it has brought to programming. It is very clever and very useful!

Why Git is better

See this site: Why Git is better than ‘X’. It’s well worth a good read. It explains all the best things about Git, and compares other software configuration management systems to see how they measure up.

But that’s not the reason i’m posting. It’s more exciting than that! See those Expand all | Collapse all links? … i did that! :) The site source code is available on GitHub. I forked it, made the change, submitted a pull request. 14 minutes later it was deployed live.

Other people have been translating the site into different languages. Git and GitHub are wonderful things!

In a similar way, we had open source dinner tonight. I took Saturday’s leftover stew, forked it, added matzo dumplings, submitted a pull request, which was accepted! It was lovely dinner! :D

Update: and now i see even the US government is going open source! Everything on change.gov is now freely available for the world to copy, change and redistribute, provided they attribute the source. Nice one, Obama! :) In fact, i’m going to make use of that creative commons licence right now:

President-elect Obama has championed the creation of a more open, transparent, and participatory government. To that end, Change.gov adopted a new copyright policy this weekend. In an effort to create a vibrant and open public conversation about the Obama-Biden Transition Project, all website content now falls under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Towards a 21st century government on change.gov/newsroom

How to get off Facebook

Many thanks to this article: How do I delete my Facebook account? … personally i am of the opinion that it should be easy to remove yourself from any website, whenever you like, with no questions asked. I believe that cultivates trust in the site. Facebook make it extremely difficult, but it’s nice to know it can be done.

I’m not yet sure whether i’m going to do it. I don’t really use Facebook at all, and it’s always nice to simplify my life a little bit by removing unnecessary things. Besides, you never know what they’re secretly doing with all your personal data. I recently removed myself from LinkedIn and felt a huge relief for doing it.

Ajax me up, baby!

Just a little demo of what i have managed to achieve tonight on MyChores:

Gosh, i love Prototype! :)

If you don’t understand why that’s so thrilling, don’t worry! I get a little bit excitable by little things sometimes! The important thing is that i did this by intention, rather than just copy-pasting other people’s code until it worked by accident! ;)