Business Life Technology

Keeping Track 2

I’ve experimented with the best way to keep track of “stuff” for a long time and I have never settled into anything for even a semi-permanent time. Most of the time I drift between  different programs as I try and find something that sticks with me.

I’m no closer right now, but I’ll go ahead and document what I am working with right now.

There are three categories of “things” in my life right now: tasks, lists, and projects. I’m using three different ways of keeping track of everything.

Tasks – Field Notes

I have Field Notes notebooks both at home and at work at Martin Luther College. The brand really doesn’t matter, but I use those notebooks to keep track of the little tasks I need to complete each day and to take stock of what I will need to complete right away the next day.

It really is that simple.

Lists – Reminders

I’ve settled on Reminders for now even after trying Clear for a week or so. Clear was cool, but Reminders really has three things going for it:

  • iCloud integration
  • shared lists
  • standard application

I use the iOS applications exclusively right now and share a list or two with my wife so she can have access to them on her phone. From there, I’m excited to get my hands on Mountain Lion so that I have access to those same lists on my Mac as well.

Projects – Things for Mac

I’m being very specific here. I’ve removed the iOS applications for the moment because they don’t serve any purpose when Things is used only for larger projects.

I keep three “Areas” for now and then add projects to each area so that I have some semblance of structure to what I am doing. I try to make sure I have a due date for every project and then add tasks into the project and work from there.

I’m not sold on this right now, but each category has its own special needs and I really don’t know if a single program can really beat any one of the above methods … but I’ll keep looking.

Business Technology


Marco Arment hits the nail directly on the head with his post Right versus pragmatic.

The media companies can do what they will against file-sharing and other “evils” like streaming and download services, but that isn’t going to change their fortunes.

It is to the “change or die” point now.

Business Technology

Strong vs Weak

John McCoy had something to say about trademarks over on his blog, Pathetic Fallacy. I’ll pull just a little bit out here because it really sums up the problems with many laws protecting IP in the USA right now.

The problems with this line of thought are: 1) it treats people like idiots and 2) it’s a protection of the interests of the powerful against the interests of the weak, which would seem to be an inversion of the goals of trademark.

Substitute “patents” or “copyright” for “trademark” and I think it still holds true. I would like that to change.

Business Technology

Reforming Hollywood

MG Siegler posted over at parislemon about what Hollywood needs to do to fix itself. Minus the language, I agree with everything he said.

Put this way, it sounds so simple. And actually, it should be this simple.



Trusting Your Employees

David Heinemeier Hansson wrote Refusing administrative minutiae over on Signal vs. Noise and one of the lines really struck home with me. I’ll copy it below.

Similarly, I have almost equal wrath for the expense report. I’ve always felt that if you hire and pay me a good wage, why on earth would you want to always be checking in on me, forcing me to justify a $200 software purchase, or a plane ticket to a conference, or whatever else I might need to do my job well.

It really comes down to a matter of trust. You should be confident when you hire someone that they’ll do what is needed for them to get the job done.

Credit card companies and banks already keep all of the information about what is being purchased, from whom, and even by whom. You don’t really need to have your employees do it as well.