Create Better Task Items

I was paging through a list of things that I made for myself during a call I was in a few weeks ago, and was utterly dismayed by how useless the items were on the list. I wasn't sure what needed to be done, I couldn't remember what things meant, and I was left with the sinking suspicion that I had forgotten something crucial. I write this, in part, as a lesson to my past self on how to write good task list items.…

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Cyborg Analysis and Technology Policy

I want to put together a series of posts about cyborg perspectives on industrial IT practices. This post introduces that series. The "cyborg analysis," makes difficult to ignore that most problems with technology, even seemingly outright "technological problems" are better as understood as problems at the intersection of humans and technology. Ignoring either people or technology, leads to imperfect analysis. While, false divides between "problems with users," and "problems with technology" aren't helpful either, this might be a conceptually useful exercise.…

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Mobile Productivity Challenges

I've never really figured out how to do work with anything less than a full computer. I've tried everything: Palm Pilots and Pocket PCs in the early 2000s, laptops, and eventually I just settled on just dragging a (smaller) laptop almost everywhere circa 2005. I get the feeling that, most people who have been thinking about mobile technology and productivity assume that the only impediments to mobile productivity are better hardware and software.…

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Links, Reviews, and Updates

While this week flew by in many respects and I only got a couple of posts out, there is much change and progress afoot. This post is an attempt to catalog some of the work I (and others) have been doing that hasn't made it onto the blog: Discussion of the "Better Task List" post by jfm`. Including spoilers for posts that I hope to have ready next week.…

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Ideal Sweater

I've mentioned a few times that I've been doing more knitting recently. Nothing for the most part to get excited about. But, now that I have a bit more free time its became apparent that I can't write all the time and it's good to have something to do with my hands when other things require a bit of extra attention. An explanation of my current knitting requires a bit of a back story.…

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Better Task Lists

Just about everyone keeps a task list of some sort, or has at some point. To the casual observer, task list management might seems like a simple problem that could be augmented with a little bit of automation for great effect. Fire up your nearest "app store" and I would bet money that you'll find a at least a few developers that have had the same thought. For such a seemingly simple engineering problem there is an inordinate amount of really bad software.…

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Public Transit Information Overload: A Lesson

Philadelphia is replacing, or at least promising to replace, the trains that run the commuter rail system. The new trains are 35-40 years newer than the usual fair, and are replete with "new technologies," one of which is an automated (I believe GPS-based) announcement system, which figures out what station is next, and which line you're on. This is great in theory, but there's a problem. This system gives you too much information.…

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