Thoughts on Systems

I am not one to enjoy designing or implementing systems. As such, I greatly appreciate well designed systems and loath poorly designed ones. My evaluation of a good system involves the system getting out of my way the boring or unpleasant tasks and, in general, eliminating my need to spend energy or spend too much energy doing.

A good system is something like I always put my keys in the same spot so I know where they are. When followed, I never think about the system or the keys, I just know where my keys are. When not followed, I can spend some time trying to find my keys. I'm looking for simple systems like this. It's not going to come from just buying an app, although that can be a great start. It's more along the lines of identifying a need that can be solved by a quick Hazel rule that adds tags or renames files as well as Text Expander snippets that do date math. See this example from David Sparks.

I've explained my thoughts on what I want my filing system to do in a lot more words than needed here. Short summary, I don't want to spend much time filing and want to find files quickly. I noted that I often revert to email to find a file because I usually remember who sent me a file. In this case, I did enjoy figuring out how to do this. Making this simple observation was exciting enough for me that I wrote about it here.

I'm looking for things that get time drains and energy saps out of my way. Unfortunately, many of the published automation examples are by bloggers and other online writers streamlining their work flow. I have yet to adopt these tools as the handful of posts I make really doesn't warrant it. That said, I am enjoying typing this post in Editorial after reading this review from Frederico Viticci. It does make the process of getting links for this post easier through the integrated browser. The integrated browser feature is not unique or new feature to text editors. The workflows could be. If I read Federico's article a few more times, I might be able to wrangle a few more personal workflows to help me out. I really like the navigation feature of being able to move the cursor by simply dragging on the extended keyboard top row.

At the end of the day, I will have to do some more observation of how I do my work to look for patterns that simple systems can improve. So far, I spent time on note taking for meetings and begun on filing.

Candidates include: * getting system for team member lists probably via Cobook. * capturing contacts from business cards and signature lines

Why, because several times over the course of the last few weeks, my progress on a primary task has been side tracked while I look for contact information or needed to adjust a team list to send out emails.