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Author Topic: Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner  (Read 1081 times)

Paul Keith

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Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner
« on: September 11, 2011, 01:10:48 AM »
Nothing urgent, I'm just curious to see if anyone has any experience with a Productivity List scanner and whether it has improved their productivity.

Just to clarify, not looking for smart folders, calendars or reminders or search based notes. I'm searching for a scanner that functions like a bookmark duplicate checker or antivirus software but for any productivity oriented need.

IainB

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Re: Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 03:49:43 AM »
@Paul Keith: "Productivity" is generally defined as having something to do with the rate at which things (e.g., goods, services, ideas) are produced/generated. For example, quantity produced per hour or per annum.
Is this the sense in which you are using it?
If so, then I don't understand what you mean by a "productivity list".
Could you elaborate please?
(Thanks.)

Paul Keith

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Re: Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 08:34:49 AM »
Nowadays, with the advent of many software, I don't really know anymore to be honest.

Just go to any blog and check out their productivity section.

By productivity list, I was just loosely referring to all the outlines, wikis, notepads, to-do lists, grocery lists, mindmaps, grids, clippers, etc.

The list was mostly there to omit things like RescueTime, Pomodoro lists, Timeboxing and as you highlighted, some corporate metrics like quantity produced per annum.

Personally though, it is getting hard. I merely want to focus on the personal productivity side of it but that word "personal productivity" reads too long and most reasons why corporate productivity is separate from personal productivity is not really because of the self factor but that there are often methods tailored for groups that an individual couldn't execute on their own.

IainB

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Re: Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 09:28:25 AM »
@Paul Keith:
OK, so if "productivity list" is loosely defined by you here:
By productivity list, I was just loosely referring to all the outlines, wikis, notepads, to-do lists, grocery lists, mindmaps, grids, clippers, etc.

The list was mostly there to omit things like RescueTime, Pomodoro lists, Timeboxing and as you highlighted, some corporate metrics like quantity produced per annum.
- then what is a "productivity list scanner" that you ask for?
Do you mean by that the tools (i.e., the "...outlines, wikis, notepads, to-do lists, grocery lists, mindmaps, grids, clippers, etc.") that provide for the presentation of the productivity list?

In my ignorance, I might be over-simplifying things here, but essentially I guess that the simplest form of what you might be looking for could be a list which shows:
  • Task: what thing is to be done or produced.
  • Type of task: (categorisation depending on what you need).
  • Priority: e.g. A=Mandatory; B=Highly desirable; C="Nice-to-have". - to enable dynamic queue re-prioritisation on the fly.
  • When task is due to start: date/time.
  • When you would like to have the task completed by: date/time.
  • When task was actually started: date/time.
  • When task was actually finished: date/time.

If you were managing the tasks as (say) a project, then for time-critical tasks of "A" priority, you could then use CPA (Critical Path Analysis), Gantt charts and PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique) to "scan" or map out your progress/productivity.

Any half-decent project planning tool could probably help with this, or you could set it up in a spreadsheet (lots of people do the latter).

Paul Keith

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Re: Request: Looking for Automatic Productivity List Scanner
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 09:59:09 AM »
Ahh, as far as that one goes, I specifically kept it open ended because I simply don't know of any that currently exists.

The problem with charts, list sorting and smart filtering/smart folders is that it's mostly manual and it's often tailored for power users.

In contrast, look at a bookmark duplicate checker. It just "scans". HD space analyzer? "scans". Antivirus? "scans".

This is really a case where looking for the utility may be more complicated than simply looking for the prime execution of a software especially since I'm not so much searching for a program to get something out of it as much as I'm hoping someone who utilizes such a program could give me some idea on how efficient a method like this could improve an individual's personal productivity. Kind of like a modified perspective on things like weekly reviews and to-do lists scans to see if the effectiveness is more on scanning or on the actual tasks since things like skimming a list can have an unintended influence on simply being a reminder system or a self-restarting motivation tactic.

In terms of common occurences, an e-mail notification system would be much closer to the analogy than a planning tool. Planning tool requires groups to do such things as intelligent messages. E-mail notification systems are both dumb and they can be worked by a single person. The problem with e-mail notification systems is that they are more push than pull.

A scanner can give you instant feedback post-scan and it can also be initiated by scanning. An e-mail system is a slave to it's scheduled reminders and the closest thing you get to a list is deleting all those robotic e-mails.

As far as actual needs, I think it's just something that could easily head into a monstrous theoretical direction that it's much easier to just ask and receive an existing concept.

For example, it's easy to go wild with the multiple executions of graphs alone but anyone who uses habit trackers like 42goals and Rootein could easily point out that link and point out to a practical graph or counter tracker system that shows how many days have passed just from the direct user interface. There wouldn't be a need to define a need.

Of course the habit trackers aren't exactly productivity lists in that they don't contain details but at least the details are direct, the thing it's scanning and the output is clearer and the benefits a person receives there is much more straight forward than trying to narrow all the different things that can be scanned which is just too many to conceive. The "what thing is to be done or produced." requirement alone could literally encompass the entire list of productivity software that has been released for all eternity.

P.S. For those who have used licorize.com's weekly review feature, wunderlist's notifications and fortunenotes auto-point based update addendum system, yes I'm already familiar with them. Experience wise and ui wise, they just don't quite have the same clarity as a list scanner even though they implement some smart style of scanning or presenting on basic things such as tasks overdue or item crossing.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 10:05:26 AM by Paul Keith »