Grappling Tectonic Decisions with Thinking Rock

Grappling Tectonic Decisions with Thinking Rock

Summary: After reading Adrians blog post Mind mapping software as a lifecycle management tool, I thought about how much of a mess my life is. Not a bad mess, I hasten to add, but a diaphonous morass of must-do's, could-have-beens, maybe-one-days.

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Thinking Rock overview

After reading Adrians blog post Mind mapping software as a lifecycle management tool, I thought about how much of a mess my life is. Not a bad mess, I hasten to add, but a diaphonous morass of must-do's, could-have-beens, maybe-one-days. I would like to do so much.

So it was with a degree of self-interested interest that I came across GTD. This stands for Getting Things Done, a “lifecycle management approach” that Adrian would be proud of.

Essentially there are 3 parts: workflow, framework process and planning. The core idea, at the heart of the workflow, is to get everything down, all ideas, get them out on a regular basis. Dump your brain. You then use the tool of your choice (paper, index cards, software) to process the ideas into actions which you do, delegate, schedule or transform into projects.

The framework process is each week to take time out to focus on different levels, from current actions through to life goals.

The planning, as far as I can see, comes in useful examining and shaping your projects.

I have come across some very exciting software called Thinking Rock, a cross-platform Java application which has been designed for the GTD approach. It takes a while getting used to, as you are supposed to add everything regularly in the Collect process rather than firing off like a loose cannon. My hopefully most helfpul tip is to use the Projects view to organise your actions into some sort of framework (see screengrab below).

Thinking Rock Projects organisation

I am also trying out the Novell Evolution PIM (Personal Information Manager), which is very Gnome-like in its simplicity/lack-of-customisationism. The integrated calendar is pretty swish though, next step is to integrate it more with Thinking Rock.

What I have found is that using my previously-mentioned The Google Mail-Hosted IMAP Email Anywhere Experience, it's really easy to set up a new email client. The only bugbear is setting up new rules. Also, Evolution plays ball pretty well with Google Calendars.

Now, what was I supposed to be doing...?

Topic: Software Development

Jake Rayson

About Jake Rayson

A web designer since the 20th century, I am a pragmatic advocate of Free Software and I use proprietary software when appropriate. I made the full-time switch to Linux back in 2007, and my desktop tools of choice are Linux Mint, Inkscape, GIMP and Sublime Text.

As a Front End Developer, my core skills are HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, and my working life reflects my commitment to open standards and accessible websites (ie accessible by everyone, regardless of browser, platform, ability or technology).

For web publishing platforms, I use WordPress for ease of use and Drupal for more complex solutions.

I am also learning about Ruby, Rails, Sinatra and CoffeeScript. I like the minimalist Ruby Way. To this end, my personal portfolio website is built with NestaCMS.

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2 comments
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  • Grappling Tectonic Decisions with Thinking Rock

    Haha thats why I stay away from such softwares, ;)

    Here's something I came across today from the site that might be of some relevance to your article.

    http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/articles/0,1000001991,39838923,00.htm

    Basically its a peace of software called mine thats still under early stages of development whereas the user's control each of there own mines of personal information, that can be utilized by social mediums but the end user's control the master switches.
    CA-aba1d
  • Grappling Tectonic Decisions with Thinking Rock

    CA, thanks for that, looks interesting stuff. I guess you can call it "They Want Your Data". I'll be looking at identi.ca as well for all my microblogging needs :)
    Jake Rayson