I remember when I started in IT and had to do real Java, there were so many things to learn. Each morning I browsed my favorite websites and printed interesting articles to read later. Then I bought a laptop and copy-and-pasted articles into OpenOffice. Later I discovered pdf printers and then RSS.
I still read at least two articles per day, but my flow has changed. It is now fully automated. Not because I’m lazy, but because I’m an engineer and want to optimize.
My entire flow is directed by IFTTT. It is not a perfect solution, but it does the job. Everything I get comes from Feedly or Twitter, items that I have “saved for later” or “liked” are copied to Pocket.
With Pocket, I can read my favorite content offline if needed, and I like its distraction-free UI enough to compensate for the fact that it sometimes causes paragraphs to go missing. When an article is interesting and related to my job, I tag it #todo and IFTTT creates a Trello card from it. I can also share it via Twitter or Google+, using an application called Buffer. All I have to do is add the #to+1 tag.
Trello maintains a set of cards for to-dos or ideas. But some tasks emerge from meetings, so I usually take notes using Evernote. I also create a task via the thick box in my Evernote notes. That’s why I’m using an app called Taco to aggregate tasks from Trello and Evernote. The Taco filter is powerful enough to select a specific set of tasks.
I have used HTML to create a custom Taco header that opens a window when I create a new card in Trello. This way I don’t have to switch between the two.
On the other side, I have iDoneThis that gently ask me for my ‘dones’ each day. A simple email helps me to track my activities. I have built a script that merges ‘dones’ from iDoneThis and events from my work agenda in a given range and presents them as HTML. This script is scheduled each Monday morning for the previous week so that I never forget and can quickly complete my timesheets.
Everything is not perfect. iDoneThis has upgraded its API without backward compatibility and dropped the “between dates” filter. IFTTT is missing a webhook applet and an API. Taco also misses an API. And I hear that we are going to use an issue/tasks management tool for our day to day tasks at work. I will review my flow and adapt my scripts.
But all of those tools are available for free and help me to concentrate on my core business while still learning and sharing with colleagues and tech friends with a few tags. All of that is not about laziness, but efficiency. .