Vanity Notice

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I am an avid listener of the For Immediate Release podcast by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. I posted a comment on their show blog last week, which they read on Monday’s show. Not quite 15 minutes of fame, but I will take what I can get. Scan to 49:20 in the podcast to hear my “brilliant” comment.

And, by the way Neville, it was Lee not Michael.   🙂

And also, if you actually happen to listen to the comment, I am not an employee of SocialText , just a fan

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Personal Organization

Over the last week I have read two posts that have led me to write this. One was Stowe Boyd’s post Remember the Milk, Redux, and the other was Steve Rubel’s post Turn Gmail into a Social Network Hub.

Both of these deal with using web 2.0 tools to make our individual lives better (easier? more productive?). Reading these got me to thinking about tools and other approaches. I have an idea for another variation, that I have played with some, but haven’t perfected yet. Thanks to Steve and Stowe, I think I now see some improvements I can make in my process to make it viable.

Put it in a Wiki

First I will label my bias, I am partial to SocialText, but what I am describing here will probably work in any wiki.

My first attempt at using a wiki for organization was to build a top page index for each topic/project I was dealing with. It was clumsy and quickly became ineffective.

My approach this time is to create a unique page for each “transaction” I have (a phone call, a thought I want to capture, meeting notes, etc.) With the content documented, I can quickly index it with labels. For:

  • a “To Do” that is embedded in the note, I add a “todo” tag
  • a reference to a person I was talking to, I add their name as a tag
  • a project reference, I add the project name as a tag
  • etc.

Now the cool feature in SocialText that I use here is the dynamic ability to create “weblogs” based on tags. If I want to pull out all of my todo’s I just pull up the “ToDo Weblog” and everything is listed in traditional reverse chronological order.

 I have lots more to investigate here, but I see real promise in using wikis as a roll-your-own personal organization engine.