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Keeping track of projects

Hi everybody,

I'm new here, so I hope I'm in the right forum.

I've got the following problem: I'm a student in audio engineering and after my diploma I want to go to film school. So right now, I'm pretty busy with creative projects. In fact, I'm kinda overloaded; I've got school projects and papers, commissions, and a whole lot of my own projects that I have to complete in order to qualify for film school. So it's a pretty inmanageable mix...

So what I need, basically, is a system to keep track of all my current projects, i.e. what I have to do on which project, the progress and, if available, a deadline. I don't want any fancy applications, all I'm working with is iCal and my Palm. I've found that the Memos in Palm are a good starting point, but I'm having a little trouble organising it all.

Anybody got ideas? I'd appreciate it.


awe's picture

Thanks for all your input....

Thanks for all your input. I'd like to comment on a few things:

- about GTD: I'm sure I'll check it out in the future as it sounds promising. But I honestly don't have the time and the nerves to do it right now, especially because GTD seems to be a pretty complex system. And I need something NOW.

- ops30: There are a couple of reasons why I want to keep my Palm: first of all, I've tried the Hipster PDA a while ago and it didn't work at all. I'm a tech freak, I'm not good with normal paper ;)
The second reason is that I've been using the Palm quite a while now to organize my life, and so far it's done a pretty good job. So it seems only natural to integrate project management on my Palm.

- Lodger: Great idea, although a little too lo-fi for my needs ;) But it could be easily adjusted for an electronic system.

The last few days, I've tried to develop a system to manage my projects. I'd like to share my thoughts and ideas with you:

- Each project gets its own Memo on the Palm. (For those of you who aren't familiar with Palms, Memos are basically plain text files).
- Each project is assigned to a category (e.g. "audio", "video" and so on). The Palm lets me filter by a category, so I can quickly see all my audio projects, for example.
- Inside the Memo, there is a list of "next steps" (plural because it doesn't matter for some projects which step is the next)
- If a project or a step of it has a fixed deadline, I note it in the Memo and create a task on the palm. That way, I can see all deadlines at a glance.
- For events that are connected to a project (e.g. the performance of a piece I composed) I create a new calendar entry.
- Ideas for new projects are listed in a separate Memo.

That's the basic system. It might seem a bit complicated at first, but once you start working with it, it feels natural. However, there are a few disadvantages and problems:

- in the worst case, project data is scattered across tasks, calender events and the Memo. Unfortunately, it's not possible to link items together on the Palm.
- Projects cannot be assigned to more than one category. For example, I'd like my custom-made reverberator to show up both in the "code" and the "audio" category.

So, what do you think?




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