Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

Archive for ‘March, 2005’

The secret of becoming organised seems to be that those activities that make you organised have to become habit – they have to become second nature. Basecamp is working well for me right now because it’s new enough that it not being a habit is not a problem. In the next week or so it’s use will enter that odd phase where it no longer has the sheen of the new, but nor is it ingrained habit.

Disorganised though I am, I have developed a daily routine. When I get to work, I sit down, check the email on my current client’s system, then check my company email, then my gmail account, followed by a quick scan of Bloglines. For Basecamp to help me achieve the stated project aim of “Fix My Life”, it needs to become part of this routine – today and every day. Slotting it in-between my email and bloglines scan was easy today – tomorrow will be harder. Like I said before, based on experience (of me), I give this a week – but I think if it lasts a couple of months and becomes second nature, it might just work.

I’ve been living by Basecamp for around 5 hours now (see my previous post on the subject), and it’s gone OK. I’ve the following milestones:

  1. Jobs for this week
  2. Jobs for the weekend
  3. Streamline finances (involves shutting down old accounts)
  4. Organise Scrum training (this is a company thing I’ve let slip)
  1. Organise company away day (see above!)

    Creating to-do lists for the above milestones is as slick as ta-da lists, although it was a little confusing that when you click on “edit” for a specific list, you can’t then add items – you have to do that in the default view. To-do lists can be assigned to a single milestone which is fine, however when viewing by milestone (which is very pretty) you don’t get any idea what makes up that milestone – it would be nice to know that I have X tasks to complete, or even a percentage completion. Likewise when you view to-do lists you can’t group them by milestone.

    As for the actual “fixing Sam’s life” aspect of this whoe experiement, well I have managed to complete today’s assignments. After dinner I want to have a play around the iCal integration – in fact I think I’ll add that to tonight’s to-do list…

I am not the most organised person in the world. I have a poor short-term memory, so I write things down. But because I have a poor short-term memory, I loose the paper. I tried to become more organised – I brought Getting Things Done. Then I lost it. I feel I might be more organised if I stop loosing my organisational aids. With that in mind, I have decided to run my life using Basecamp – I might loose a piece of paper, but I’m less likely to loose the Internet.

My company name – Sam Newman’s life. My Project – Fix my life.

I give it 1 week.

In no particular order:

Spam prevention measures

MT Moderate is working like a charm – the latest wave of Trackback spams (mostly load related which makes a nice change to the recent influx of poker-related spam) all being caught.

Comment moderation is back off, and I’ve turned trackbacks back on. I’ve uninstalled MT-Blacklist after the recent perl issues here, and have instead installed MT Moderate which automatically forces moderation on all old trackbacks and comments. These older posts tend to attract more spam. We’ll see how it goes.

In the next release of the weblog, expect to see MT Moderate used alongside TypeKey and some serious mod_security work to block comment posting from known open relays. posting off

I was using the link posting as a way of enriching the content coming from the site. Unfortunately I’ve been concentrating on things other than writing (amongst which is a redesign) so this blog has degenerated into being a link blog. I’ll stop posting links directly to the main site in the next few days.

You can still subscribe to my tag feed directly if you want, and the link roll will keep updating. I will bring these links back in some form in the future – probably as a richer sidebar or something.

Being an OSX whore

Yes I now am, but am too busy right now being one to talk about it. I’d say “expect more soon” but on evidence to date relying on me is like investing in the US dollar.