Friday, April 08, 2005

(My own personal paradigm shift, part 3)

Originally posted: Fri, 08 Apr 2005 19:55:16

I mentioned a while back that I had settled on Excel for my project management work. In case you've been wondering how this works, I've attached a sample (cleaned up) example. By default, it sorts by date completed, then by date due, then by start date; I typically hide the completed tasks. You can also sort by project. Color denotes project in the CWRL and Research tabs. In the Tenure tab, I show all tasks and use green to denote completed tasks. That's not consistent, but it's not like I share it with others.

I've been using this system for about a year now, and I'm continually surprised by how well it works. One important feature is that I can print out the entire workbook, which I keep in a folder that goes everywhere I go. I can then make additions, add sticky notes for longer notes, and set hard deadlines using my PDA's calendar. (I had originally planned to manage the spreadsheet on my PDA, but the screen is just too small for viewing the sweep of the activity -- which is of course what the spreadsheet does best.)

Typically, I also add notes pointing to other documents: "In NV" means that I've entered related text into Notational Velocity. "In steering committee minutes 2005.03.01" means that more information is in the committee minutes, which are posted on the CWRL's Drupal installation. The key isn't to bundle everything in one place, but to know where to get your information when you need it while making it accessible to others as well. >

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