Building my own productivity system

Makzan’s Dispatch 2019 week 51.

Hi there,

Over the past decade, I was trying to build my own positivity systems. They are web applications to manage my tasks my clutters and my thoughts.

Now it is my eighth time rebuilding the system. Before that, I tried the following approaches:

- Twitter-like thoughts logging system called log-n-forget.
- Rich-text editor based document system called write.md.
- An all-in-one system that I called VVA, Virtual virtual assistant.
- A card-based system called MZKB, Makzan’s Knowledge Base.

The twitter-like system is very good for quick inputs but the records query system is too messy. The all-in-one was trying to do too much that was re-inventing the wheels. It even reads emails for me. The MZKB was a good success, but the code based was not optimized and I was trying to do too much too. MZKB ends up with too many purposes with so less flexibility.

Currently, my 8th system is a mix of benefits of my previous systems.

This system is flexible with byte-size records. It allows me to manage different inputs every day into one organized place. The inputs include clips, readings, important emails from boss, good and bad examples found, my thoughts, my ideas, my sketches. Each record is a pack of information that I need. The information could be an archive of something I learnt (Knowledge) or a group of information that I will need in future (Decision Making).

The system will be messy if I only organize the records by tags. On top of tags, I also use “Channels” and “Roles”. 

Channels are group of information that I need for the short-term projects. For example, I have a channel for the family trip next month, a channel for the 6-month project.

Roles are long-term. It could be my position at current company. I am also a writer with a role dedicated to it. So every thing that are related to this kind of long-term life goal are marked into roles. For example, I have /work, /writing, /family, /worldskills roles.

Beyond the roles, channels and tags. I can also group my recorded information by dates and location. And I can search by attachment types and URL.

By having multiple entry points and having connection between them via tags, channels and replies. I can create a massively connected pack of information system that fits my needs.

And one of the key point is to find a good balance between the flexibility and framework of organization. Easy to log down, easy to organize, easy to find, easy to grow.

Links worth sharing


This Page is Designed to Last
https://jeffhuang.com/designed_to_last/
Web pages should be designed to be permanent. That’s why we call those URL permalink



Things 3.11 updates
https://culturedcode.com/things/blog/2019/12/the-quick-find-update/
My favorite tasks manager just get better update. Actually I use Things for more long term checklist and TeuxDeux for daily checklist. 



A Designer’s Guide to the Terminal
https://react.design/terminal
A quick start guide to use terminal.



Flickr needs more pro subscriptions
http://blog.flickr.net/en/2019/12/19/the-worlds-most-beloved-money-losing-business-needs-your-help/

“We didn’t buy Flickr because we thought it was a cash cow. Unlike platforms like Facebook, we also didn’t buy it to invade your privacy and sell your data. We bought it because we love photographers, we love photography, and we believe Flickr deserves not only to live on but thrive. We think the world agrees; and we think the Flickr community does, too. But we cannot continue to operate it at a loss as we’ve been doing.”

A z-index visualizer development extension

Addy Osmani @addyosmani
Introducing z-index visualizer - a new tool available in the VisBug Chrome Extension:
bit.ly/visbugext Was fun working on this with @argyleink! Also as cross-browser bookmarklet: bit.ly/zindexbk


Open standard for smart home devices is being developed
https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2019/12/amazon-apple-google-and-the-zigbee-alliance-to-develop-connectivity-standard/

Code worth sharing: CoffeeScript Fun

https://codepen.io/pavlovsk/pen/jOEBqYQ?editors=1010
I never thought that we can write meaningful English in valid CoffeeScript. 

Quote of the week

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”—George Bernard Shaw.

I read it from Startup Nation.

3 Lessons to Learn from the Startup Nation
https://localwriter.pk/3-lessons-to-learn-from-the-startup-nation/

Until next week,
Makzan