My summer holiday is drawing to a close. I feel I have put it to good use. Rest, travel, thinking. I have kept the planning idea going and so have today put a bunch of things in place for the coming week. Some seams in the system, or some new needs, are starting to appear. I will try to keep from "fixing" them with more stuff too soon, perhaps the right move is to remove another thing.
In any case, the two seams:
- Plain text versus Clear. Clear is the todo app I use. I have it on all my macs and IOS devices and except for the odd Icloud sync hiccups it does everything I want and nothing more in a very sleek package. I have kept a few lists in there, purchases, things to do at work and so on. Items to get to in certain circumstances, pretty much, most of them short-term, quick things, but some longer and less clearly defined things get in every now and then too.
The challenge or seam is of course that I keep my week plan in a plain text file, and I do not feel like keeping the two places in sync by hand. The week plan could be a set of todo lists inside Clear. That would work well for handling each day, but feels less natural for working with the week as a whole. On the other hand, I like to think and plan in more free-form text. Even if I were to use Clear to contain the lists themselves I would most likely not be doing my actual planning there. Throwing in lots of ideas as items and then somehow shuffling them around sounds like no fun.
Right now, I have mostly removed things from my Clear lists. Especially those diffuse items I was very happy to move to a better place. Clear might go away. It might become the handler of the whole plan. Or it might stick around for purchases and other suitable things. I am interested to see where it lands, what I feel I should enter where.
- Daily note versus theme-specific file. My note-taking system right now is that 99% of everything starts inside a file with today's date as its name. Nice and simple, no barriers to entering (and I have an action in Drafts to send text straight to the day's file).
Consequently, the plan for the week is now located in the file for the Sunday where I made the plan, along with anything else I tapped down that day. Suddenly those particular days are living documents, updated throughout the whole week as I add, move and check things off.
It seems very likely that I will split out the plan for each week into its own file. It just seems cleaner. On the other hand hey, another file to remember and wrangle. My experience is that specific files feel off to the side enough that they easily become forgotten and unused. This may well be a case where it will work, but I still hesitate as it makes all this more of a System. I did just create a file for "Some day" items that I can fill out and pick from because I do not want to look through all days for possible items to add. I will let that be for a while and see if I keep using it before making up my mind on the separate week files.
Fighting the system
Pretty small problems with easy solutions, right? Indeed, and perhaps that makes me more inclined to not solve them right away. If I can get by without adding anything, it would be perfect. I am not looking for a system, I just want to think more actively (and ever so slightly more organized) about what I do. Finally, I want to see how much of this survives contact with a few weeks of work.
Even if managing todo lists in Markdown files while decreasing the use of my actual todo list app looks a bit silly from the outside …