A nervous air of expectancy tinged with an edge of fear hangs over the quiet room, as a group of people sit on old school chairs arranged in a circle. Slowly one of the group stands up, looking at the faces of those around him, making sure not to make eye contact. He swallows the lump that’s threatening to block his throat and mumbles. “Hi. My name is CodeNinja and I’m Unorganised“.
OK. Maybe Unorganised Anonymous is not as well known a support group as some of the more trendy Anonymous Groups. AA, SA, VA, DA, etc. But God darn it, it affects people just as bad as the others!
For years I have taken on way too many projects and ideas, Never actually finishing any of them because of the sheer work load. That and Each project distracts from the others. In the past I have tried to counter this with ToDo lists. (In fact every one of my machines has dozens of todo text files all over their hard drives). As you can imagine this is not the most efficient form of managing Time/Tasks, and I can admit it does not work.
With the help of my UA sponsors I started to investigate software for keeping “task lists” that would help keep me organised. I even asked for help on Twitter/Facebook with the following comment.
“I have been testing different todo lists/project tracking systems
I want a web based one, and would like it to comunicate with an iphone app. but a decent web app would do for starters.”
This got me several suggestions and ideas. Which I started to test and try out. Both iPhone only apps, a simple web app, etc.
At the same time @demonpengu started looking at ways to manage himself & his projects. (He too has a problem, only he has not yet taken the first of the twelve steps and admitted he has a problem and joined UA). This made me look back at a bit of software I had tested years ago called dotproject.
“dotProject is a volunteer supported Project Management application. There is no ‘company’ behind this project, it is managed, maintained, developed and supported by a volunteer group and by the users themselves.”
While discussing dotProject as a possible solution for him, I decided to re-test it myself as well. And have been running it for a month now. I have only got it managing a half dozen projects during this “Testing” phase. I will admit I am not fully using all the features it has, I will start using more and more as I get into the habit of using it. And as the projects grow then more of the extra features will be needed.
In the month I have been testing, I have made a start of several projects and tasks I have been putting off for years, and have finished over a dozen major tasks. I believe this bit of software may just save me, and organise the completion of old old projects. So watch this space for a more Productive CodeNinja.
The Twelve Steps of UA
- We admitted we were powerless of Organisation
- Came to believe that a Program greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of dotProject
- -> 12. All better now.