TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: To Do Archives From:Charles Good <good -at- AUR -dot- ALCATEL -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 28 Mar 1996 18:59:39 GMT
For years, I used TODO list forms both in the pre-printed paper form
and online versions. I then went to the Time Systems organizaer notebook
and started listing todo actions for every day. I disliked the ability
to carryover items that remained active for weeks or longer.
Now, I use a simple database product to create todo lists. I enter the
date I assigned myself the item, the priority (1-5), and a short description.
I have a report generator routine defined to search the database for all
"open" todo items, sort the collection first by priority and second by
date entered, then print the report.
When I complete each item, I enter a completion date. Once a month, I
produce a report of "completed" tasks and it calculates the elapsed
time from the date entered until the date completed. The report also
averages all the todo items to determine overall average elapsed time
(which sometimes is meaningless because priorities dictate my diligence
to follow up and complete many low priority items).
At the end of the year, I search for all tasks that were completed
during the calendar year and that becomes a summary of everything I
have worked on for the year. Recently, I added a field to categorize
my todo items in terms of work-related or extra-curricular. That way,
I can produce reports specific to either.
This can be powerful information if your boss ever asks you what you're
doing with your time. Sometimes, people who are excellent time managers
are considered less productive than their peers because people do not
realize everything they are doing. This is especially true when the
bulk of what you do is done using a computer.