I believe Forster suggests to start by saying/writing:
Think about X (we'll say it's an idea for a book). And then I guess you'd do the GTD thing of figuring out the first step, but hopefully the thinking bit would help you be realistic about the idea..
as opposed to:
Start my book
That's one way. He also suggests in AutoFocus to highlight it.
Basically someday/maybe and it's other derivatives are holding back the productivity movement because as you alluded to:
In my time I've had some ideas that are pretty big but also pretty 'unactionable' for various reasons. But I suspect at the end of the day, if I really wanted to write that book or illustrate the other one or whatever - I would do it. I would make it so I could do it, even if the obstacles (lack of time/ lack of money/ lack of experience/ lack of talent even) seem insurmountable.
This is bad and is one of the reasons I felt GOE 2009 should be criticize-able even at the risk of attracting rude people for rude people's sake.
I dont think any productivity or grading system would help or hinder much with going for that big project - but as you say it could help sorting them out.
It could...but not with unactionable items. At least not fully.
That's kind of the point of making a thing actionable. If you can do that, most mundane stuff pretty much need not any system beyond a to-do list. (but anything that becomes that way don't need a full system either...nor of a full functional to-do list... you just need a list you can see in front of you)
Me, I could do with all the help I can get - I'm at a sort of crossroads where my main work of the last 15 years seems to be petering out & I don't mind from the point of view that I want to do something different. But I dont know what exactly. And while I *might* not have the luxury of choice, I obviously going to have some sort of influence with my thoughts (be they positive or negative) and my ideas. (and my ToDo lists? lol)
Exactly. I think most good productivity systems promise this "help" and they deliver to an extent but the margin of progress has been so small that it's worth asking this question still.
Maybe we should/could think about this practically - Skwire is on fire at the moment Wink - maybe he or someone could throw together an app where one could brainstorm to-do-ideas and somehow rank them - I'll have to think some more about this.
Nice! I don't know who Skywire is but that sounds good.
Just one question though: what would be the difference between this app and a bug tracker?
Any thoughts on how ideas could be ranked - to be honest at the moment I cant really see a piece of software being able to manage this.
What do you think? I guess you Paul were talking about this on a different level than "what will I do with my life!" - my post just kind of veered that way unintentionally!
Nah, no prob -- all productivity questions kind of lead to that question anyway. :p
Honestly, as long as I don't know programming, I can't really give out any practical ideas because most of these are going to be algorithm based.
It'd be like me suggesting a spider to gather all productivity related ideas and start a ranking from there. I won't even be able to suggest a basic concept of it because I don't even know HTML or CSS.
If I would be just throwing out random ideas though, I'd do something like this:
1) Let's first use the data from the spider to create a flawed universal ranking which we would use as supplement for the program. Kinda like We Feel Fine
for productivity related tasks. (For web apps, we could go the api way of asking permission for users to allow for this program to anonymously collect their task data)
2) Let's then make the user take a decent "personality quiz"-like survey ala Strength Finder
for free and then use it to generate a starting "guess-generator" for their task by comparing their strengths to the commonly written tasks scouted by the spider.
3) Let's then wrap this generator around a bare bones to-do list.
4) Instead of a progress meter, let's combine this interface with a How Full is your Bucket
universal user interface which allows them to insert a task for every drop. (This should then bypass the fear of data mining because they can drop a task anonymously and as long as not enough trolls skewer the data, the rankings would not be highly inacurrate)
5) The generator should then be able to intelligently know whether what they've done contributed to any of the tasks they've put in the to-do list and then create a drop-down history archive for that task. (This should serve both as the 43 things
alternative and also a history of what actions they've done as well as what actions they/others did that might possibly hurt their goals in achieving the action.)
6) These data can then be exported to a format that allows it to be sent to a universal central server database which can be compared and contrasted and scrutinized to be improved upon. (Equally these should keep the app from bypassing privacy because then you can design an interface that would remove sensitive data)
...but that's way out there. It's really more accessible to ask others of the basic question of "What do you do to bypass the actionable necessity?" than such ideas because not all members in donationcoder are most likely advanced programmers.
I'd encourage you to make a separate topic of this though. Would be nice to have another active programmer-centric thread in this GOE besides the To-Do List of Doom.