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1043099 Posts in 42259 Topics- by 33918 Members - Latest Member: NazGhuL

September 17, 2014, 07:34:20 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperTutorialsManaging to do lists
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Author Topic: Managing to do lists  (Read 7501 times)
Muz
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2013, 08:26:14 PM »

Not sure if this is related, but just found out about a cool site that's handy for brainstorming/mindmapping called Coggle. It's in beta but works great, looks nice and is really easy and efficient to use.

coggle.it




Ha, that's awesome. Was looking for a mindmapping tool that works better than on pen and paper.
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Graham-
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2013, 05:49:52 AM »

I like workflowy. Just tried it for the first time now.

I use 3 main file types: design docs, todo docs, and "runners." Whenever I have a specific thing, or collection of things, I put it in a file. Several files go in a directory. Directories go in others. Simple.

If a file/directory gets too big I split it. In every directory I have a file called "runner." "Runner" is where I write anything that doesn't fit anywhere else. It's the first place I go to when I'm unsure of where to go to. The only rule of the runner is that it is chronological, so it is a history of my thinking. It "runs." I can reformat previously written things in it to make them clearer, but I usually don't add to them. I usually append to the file.

Sometimes I pull things out of the runner and put them somewhere else, when I find them a home. All of my documents, except runners, use emacs org-mode, which basically lets me group  content into collapsible trees, and add links/tags and so on... like workflowy, but w/ more features and being slightly harder to use. Normally I don't mix todos with design stuff in the same file, though they can reference each other. A directory usually has several todo/design docs and one runner. Each todo/design doc is for a particular grouping of things.

It's easy for me to find something, whatever it is, and just start working on it. Nothing gets lost. I don't link between files a lot yet but will more later.
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Graham-
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 02:19:57 PM »

I love workflowy!

p.s. yes!
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EdgeOfProphecy
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2013, 06:56:34 PM »

Good ol' Google Docs (Or Drive, I guess), since they are easy to share with anyone.
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TomHunt
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2013, 08:12:18 PM »

I used to use Trello, but the fact that it's only as a web app - I have to have a browser window open and be connected to the Internet - that's just clunky.

Similar situation with OneNote and other things that take up memory and an extra slot on my taskbar. I have to remember to keep the app open in order to have my todo list up.

Pen and paper works fairly well, as I don't usually have to remember to get it out. I can keep it on a clipboard on my desk and it will usually be right there for me to look at and edit. I do sometimes spill things on it, though, and sometimes the paper can get all messed up.

Whiteboarding is a little nicer in that it can be hung on the wall and it's always in the same spot, is erasable, can be a mind map, a list, or whatever. A couple issues I have with the whiteboard right now - 1) hanging it on the wall means drilling holes, and that can sometimes be an issue if you plan on moving out of where you're at anytime soon, and 2) it's not always within arms reach, so I have to physically get up and go over to the whiteboard to use it.



So I'm back to using just a simple plain text file. I keep it open in a tab in Sublime Edit. It's separated into three sections: TODO, DONE, and CUT.  Each section is pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.

TODO is anything I think needs to be done. Each item begins with a '*' and may range in granularity. The tips previously described in this thread all apply here. Big items kind of stand out to me and I keep those in mind to break into smaller items as I figure out what those are exactly. I will liberally add things to the TODO list as I see fit, although I'll try to ease up on the big stuff once I get past a certain point in order to concentrate on polish and bug-fixing so I can actually ship. 

Whenever an item is completed, the * is replaced with an X and it is moved to the done list.

If a feature is taking way too long and/or is bogging down the rest of the project, it gets CUT and moved to that list with [] placed around the *. This is so it's still there - it isn't deleted, but I'm making a note that I'm not going to bother with these things and focus my time and attention on other things so the project can be finished within a sane timeframe.

If it is not part of the core of the game it can be cut and it won't be the end of the world. If it is part of the core of the game and it really is a shitstorm to work on, then you've got bigger problems and may need to reconsider the project as a whole, but fortunately this is not usually the case in reality.


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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2013, 11:58:11 PM »

I like using chalk markers on glass, they're completely opaque and readable and (most importantly) easy erasable.  They're a good/cheap alternative for people who want a whiteboard and their room/office has a large pane of glass.
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Amorphous
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« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2013, 07:01:34 PM »

I use the Sticky Notes program that comes with Windows, used to be a widget, I think. It's nice booting up my computer and seeing the really, really ugly sticky notes with my to-do list on there, good to remind me to do stuff in order. Will probably have to find something different when I start working on collaborative projects.

Tried getting into the habit of writing down notes on paper, except then I realized that I can't read my own handwriting.
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Graham-
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« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 07:17:47 PM »

That's funny. I read my own hand-writing just fine. No one else can though. Super encryption, human-bit.
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« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2013, 10:26:45 PM »

I like using chalk markers on glass, they're completely opaque and readable and (most importantly) easy erasable.  They're a good/cheap alternative for people who want a whiteboard and their room/office has a large pane of glass.

now THAT is a cool idea. I like whiteboards but they are so expensive.

I usually just write my weeks tasks related to projects on paper. For the more mundane life tasks I use Astrid.
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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2013, 07:03:01 AM »

Good 'ol pen and paper. Just write stuff down and cross it off as I do it. Keep it with me wherever I go.
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2013, 01:15:48 AM »

my system is so f-ing complicated now. I have no rules, just a lot of crap.

the secret is to be organized enough so that you can easily answer the questions you need answered. if you can't then make a new list that does what you need.
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Muz
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« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2013, 02:59:26 AM »

Yeah, it takes a bit of practice.. as with exercise, too many people give up after they overdo it the first few times. You want to learn when you've put in too much detail that it becomes unreadable to not getting everything. Hence why I recommended multiple layers.. you still want the "master plan" list that tells you what everything is and keep breaking them down into smaller pieces.

I like the breaking down model because if you screw up the lower level list, you can just scrap it and build a new one. Or if it's too small/shallow, just merge it into another.
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Graham-
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« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2013, 03:52:39 AM »

writing clean todo lists is like writing clean code. there is no system. learn how to abstract properly. when a system doesn't do what you want, change it. then clean it up.
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2013, 12:02:13 PM »

I started my project with Trello, but honestly, I started having the best results when I began to just use a Google Docs Spreadsheet instead. I have a column for task and a column for priority (1-10) and I can add any additional columns as needed. I do automatic conditional color-coding to paint cells red that need my attention (like priority 1-3 items) and color stuff green when it's done (makes me feel good to have a bunch of green on the spreadsheet). I also have columns for stuff like expected difficulty, description, additional notes, etc.

This method is nice because it's very flexible and I can easily sort my list by priority, and I can have multiple tabs, one for each category. So one sheet is for items related to the Map (render tiles, handle tile clicks, etc), one for Units (render units, create classes for unit inventory, etc), and so on. I also have a different Spreadsheet for my "backlog" of ideas which I pull from on occasion... it's also sorted by type. Overall I think this system works better for me than Trello did and I recommend it.   
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Graham-
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2013, 01:21:53 PM »

no tool beats an organized system and mind.
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ericmbernier
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« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2013, 12:46:57 PM »

Since my projects so far have been relatively small I just use a post-it note, fill it up with bugs/tasks, cross one off at a time, and repeat the process.

For bigger tasks/milestones I use the iPhone app "Clear". It's a pretty simple app, so if you're looking for something that keeps stats, history of bugs, etc it is not the app for you.
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« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2013, 05:57:00 PM »

I don't actually use nothing but my mind and I feel really weird for it, since I would really like to write to-do lists, but I feel really boring writing them D:
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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2013, 01:50:37 AM »

This was helpful, thanks. I always have trouble getting my priorities right  Tired such as sleep for one
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Graham-
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2013, 07:11:36 AM »

I don't actually use nothing but my mind and I feel really weird for it, since I would really like to write to-do lists, but I feel really boring writing them D:

Sometimes this happens. What you need to do is.... I have no idea.

What bores you about them? I find the secret is writing them at the right time, and only writing about what you can think about clearly at that time. You can always add to it later, refine it etc.
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Gregg Williams
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2013, 08:26:19 AM »

I've gone back to paper and pencil. I find some psychological joy in scratching out the item, that computer based systems just don't offer.
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