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Discussion on: How do you keep track of what you’re working on so you remember where to start next time?

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Adam Brandizzi

The first column is the short term one, the second column is the yet-shorter-term one :) There I write any note I need. It may be subtasks or any debugging information, or even a phone number I'll have to call! The second column is deeply unstructured, so I can keep the first one tidy.

Yet, it is true that the second column outpaces the first. When it happens, I go to another page and restart thed process, copying any pending task.

This method works for tasks that I'll handle in the current day or, at most, in the next day. If a task is not going to be handled in this interval, I have different "buckets" for different contexts:

  • Tasks at work usually become a JIRA issue. I am upfront when it comes to create tickets, especially technical subtasks. But those are only half of my tasks; the other half are emails and pull requests. Regarding those, I use my inbox and my PR listing as my to-do list.

  • Tasks on personal projects become tickets in my personal repositories. Even if the project is deeply personal, I create issues for that. I find it quite instructive and calming!

  • This is how I handle my programming-related tasks. Any other thing I have to do goes to Wunderlist or, ideally, become an event on Google Calendar. But I guess it is beyond the topic :)

So, I handle the long term with digital tools and the short term with paper, basically.