It feels like we are experiencing a renaissance of knowledge management. I find new apps and services everyday. Today, I discovered another one from MeisterLabs: MeisterNote. It sounds a lot like Craft with some super powers. I generally like what MeisterLabs makes, even though they are webapps.1 Their designs are playful and it feels like they actually use what they make. I really wish MeisterLabs would do a better job showing what their apps do instead of explaining in text and cartoons.
This article by Florian Haas had me nodding along through each paragraph. It’s ostensibly about distributed development teams but it’s really just about generosity. Many of us have been thrust into remote work with little training in etiquette. Some of us had to re-frame what we know about face to face work while others continued along with the same bad habits. Florian is pretty blunt about how disruptive these bad habits are.
I keep re-reading this article by Tiago Forte. It starts with a line that I fundamentally disagree with and gets better and worse from there: Knowledge work is unique among skilled professions in that we lack a culture of systematic improvement. I like the overall concept of the article which is why I keep re-reading it. I’m torn. From one angle I feel like the concepts are a complete mismatch.
Well that was a weird year. While 99.9% of the past year was terrible the one thing I did enjoy was working from home in my own office with a desk, chair, and monitor that I like. I made some tweaks to my office setup after the pandemic lockdown and I couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. I bought a Jabra wireless headphones based on a recommendation from a friend.
I stumbled on these two articles separately. On the surface they are unrelated. As a read them both it started to click that these have a lot of overlap. Zafu Labs, OKRs from a development team’s perspective: So it makes sense that when the OKRs come out for the quarter, we just take what we already have and figure out how to fit it into the OKRs. Steve Denning at Forbes, Understanding Fake Agile:
We might finally be coming out of the shared delusion that “follow your passion” is some how good career advice. While I’m sure there are people that have discovered the unlikely intersection of fun and employment my own experience is that each of these diminishes the other. It’s from this experience that I bring this article by Molly Conway at Man Repeller: The Modern Trap of Feeling Obligated to Turn Hobbies Into Hustles
OmniFocus can be a bit frustrating but one feature that keeps me coming back is the custom perspective engine. For new users this can seem like impossible magic. It’s not, but it does help to see some examples. A perspective is simply a set of filters. The more filters you add, the narrower the list you see. Filters can be nested and grouped. Filters can include or exclude tasks based on some condition.
I’m on a journey and I’m struggling to keep up. I manage big, long-running projects professionally. As a project grows it naturally develops sub-projects, short term milestones, teams, and intertwined dependencies. To my dismay, most productivity systems keep me focused on the granular day to day work. Without the right level of focus I end up just staring at my feet, hoping that I’m headed toward my destination.1 How do we know when projects are stalled?
I’m fully on the bandwagon of using home screen shortcuts on iOS. The Automators podcast had a nice discussion about the pros and cons. Coincidentally I’ve been using a folder on my dock for iPad to get to my most commonly used OmniFocus, DEVONthink, Day One, and Fantastical screens. At least these shortcuts still work as expected so I’m sticking with them. While I like working in all of these apps, all of my shortcuts are workarounds for navigation limitations in the app UIs.
DEVONthink sync continues to improve, with last week’s update rolling out push-sync between devices. In my experimentation this is a very nice improvement for anyone running DEVONthink across iOS and macOS devices. This is how it works for me. After a new DEVONthink sync is triggered on one device, a push message is sent to all other devices within a few seconds, initiating other synchronizations even if the app is not active.