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There’s no inherent structure to work. Work has no inherent unit. We make units; we make tasks, and projects, and milestones, and goals. But nothing about those is inherent in the nature of work. Tiago Forte
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« Day 5 | Main | Day 4 Stats »
Wednesday
Feb032010

Provisional name for new system

It’s a bit unsatisfactory referring to the new system as DIT2/AF5 so I’ve decided to refer to it from now, until we come up a better, by the provisional name “The Day/Week/Month Time Management System”, for short “DWM”.

Reader Comments (38)

Pros: I like the meaning and I like the sound.
Cons: At least in America those 3 letters are awfully close to a few other 3-letter combos with negative connotations: DWI and DMV.
February 3, 2010 at 12:44 | Unregistered CommenterSteve
Con: It's not "Autofocus"! *waves AF5 flag*

;-)
February 3, 2010 at 12:57 | Unregistered CommenterAndreas Hofmann
It seems long and heavy on nouns. How about "Let It Expire" -- whoops, bad acronym. Or "Forward, March!" Or "Plan It Forward" (a play on the movie "Pay It Forward"), though you're more about time management than planning per se.
February 3, 2010 at 13:00 | Unregistered CommenterLenore
How about "WMD" -- Weapon of Mass Doing! ;-)
February 3, 2010 at 13:35 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
In the Welsh language, this would probably be pronounced as "Doom...."
February 3, 2010 at 14:05 | Unregistered CommenterRob
How about DITM - Do It This Month?
February 3, 2010 at 14:16 | Unregistered CommenterPam Phillips
If you could bend the name to "DWIM" - do what I mean - then you might be onto something good! At least it's not DWMTMS. That sounds like something Elmer Fudd would sell. (From the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, for the younguns in the group :-)
February 3, 2010 at 15:41 | Unregistered Commenterbryane
How about this:
MPNSWTDE:

Mark Provides New System We Tweak Debate Ensues
February 3, 2010 at 15:42 | Unregistered CommenterAvrum
Avrum:

<< How about this:
MPNSWTDE:

Mark Provides New System We Tweak Debate Ensues >>

I'd prefer:
MPNSWTIOTTDE:

Mark Provides New System We Try It Out Then Tweak Debate Ensues >>
February 3, 2010 at 15:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Rob:

<< In the Welsh language, this would probably be pronounced as "Doom...." >>

No, it would be pronounced with a short "u" as in Cwm. Long u has a circumflex accent over it.
February 3, 2010 at 16:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Quite simply, it's AF-Genius Edition. I can't wait for March 2nd! That element of time is what I felt was hindering my use of AF. Already this system, despite no dismissals (neither a week nor a month have passed yet) is making me very productive. So...AFG ("AF-Genius edition).
February 3, 2010 at 17:40 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Gooch
In certain parts of academia the canon is referred to as "Dead White Men." Fortunately, Mark only fits two of these criteria. ;)
February 3, 2010 at 17:42 | Unregistered Commentermoises
My favourite is "Forward Focus", because it puts the backlog into the future.
February 3, 2010 at 18:19 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich J
Task Tetris.
February 3, 2010 at 19:20 | Unregistered CommenterWill
<<My favourite is "Forward Focus", because it puts the backlog into the future. >>

BttF - Back(log) to the Future! ;-)
February 3, 2010 at 19:28 | Unregistered CommenterAndreas Hofmann
How about "Project/Task Autofocus System" -- "PTAF"?

-David
February 3, 2010 at 19:38 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Drake
Mark, I really like DITM if you're going to use this as an add-on to DIT. It fits the criteria for generating publicity: It's Different (you don't hear TM systems focused on the month too often), Emotional (You mean I could really get things done??), and Simple (Everyone will get the concept of committing to getting things done in a month).
February 3, 2010 at 20:22 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Will:

<< Task Tetris. >>

Actually it reminds me more of Space Invaders!
February 3, 2010 at 22:57 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Well, why don't you call it 'Task Invaders' then? That name would clearly stand out in the time managment universe :-)

On another note, this system is a clear departure from the core concept of DIT.
This was obvious from Mark's Feb 1, 15:55 reply in the comments section for the announcement of the system's outlines:
--
Avrum:
<< How does the new system, in any way, take on the spirit of DIT i.e. Knowing that you've completed a full day of work? >>
Does it matter?
--
Mark's Jan 31 blog post "Looking For A New Name" also shows this.
Therefore I cannot see an 'addendum' to DIT here, and the name probably shouldn't refer to DIT at all. This new system is obviously derived from Autofocus, not from DIT.

I wouldn't call it "Day/Week/Month"-something either, because I consider the month thingy an unfortunate choice for people in a separated work/home environment. I'd rather opt for 4 weeks to keep the week day in synchronicity and not let work tasks expire on weekends, as I already stated in a useless forum post. The month limit could also prove arbitrary (for some people, 2 or 6 weeks might be more suitable), so it's better to at least leave the 'month' bit out.

How would I call it? Let's see:

My initial impressions of the system were rather negative (because I hoped for something much closer to DIT), but after thinking about it for a while, I thought to myself: This could probably best be described as an 'action machine', because it forces you into action, otherwise tasks will expire automatically. And it's a very interesting concept for someone like me who leans towards an electronic implementation (something that AF never was a really good fit for).

So I would have preferred the name 'Action Machine', but on the one hand, that's already taken by an existing 'productivity' software, and on the other, it completely lacks the 'Autofocus' part.

In the end, my choice was 'FOCUS MACHINE', because it mixes the Autofocus part with the mechanism that is operated by something, time in this case. And 'FM' makes for a nice abbreviation.

So here it is:
FOCUS MACHINE (FM).

Sorry for the use of all-caps in some cases, but this comment is too long, and I wanted to point out the most important part. Had too little time.
February 3, 2010 at 23:52 | Unregistered CommenterAlex W.
At first I thought about something like "Trident", because of the three parts day, week and month. Then I do like your comment, that it reminds you of Space Invaders and I envisioned the space ships flying down on you like rain from the sky, so I came up with "Trickle" or "TimeTrickle" or something like that.

If you want to use this or something similar, feel free to do so. It's my payback for AF, which was the first system that really worked for me.
February 4, 2010 at 1:04 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
Someone in another post suggested a 30/7 idea, indicating the month-ahead, week-ahead ideas. I also feel it's another derivation of the original AutoFocus method.

So...what about AutoFocus 30/7? I like it!
February 4, 2010 at 2:35 | Unregistered CommenterYoungMex
I've been thinking about the Space Invaders metaphor as well. I say go one step further and design a game that plays it with your tasks-- such a representation may be useful in visualizing workload and may attract people not interested in traditional task systems (not that this is traditional...)
February 4, 2010 at 14:46 | Unregistered Commentervegheadjones
How about Momentum.

"momentum


In physics, the property or tendency of a moving object to continue moving. For an object moving in a line, the momentum is the mass of the object multiplied by its velocity (linear momentum); thus, a slowly moving, very massive body and a rapidly moving, light body can have the same momentum. (See Newton's laws of motion.)"

This seems to make a lot of sense with the new system.
February 4, 2010 at 16:47 | Unregistered CommenterChristine in Canada
Actually, what you are doing is giving each task a date-of-expiry or do-by date. There is also the term "shelf life" for this. Maybe any of these can spark an idea.
February 4, 2010 at 17:24 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
JCDescy:

Hmmm... the Supermarket system perhaps?
February 4, 2010 at 17:41 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
LOL No, I thought more about something like Shelf Life System or Do-by Date System.
No, I go for: Shelf Life Invaders LOL

I don't know. I'm must brainstorming. But speaking of supermarkets: my girlfriend used to work at one and they have a routing called "Warenwälzung" which I have found the following english terms for: stock rotation, inventory flow, stock turnover, product rotation

This is when they put the newly delivered products with a later expiry date behind the old ones with the earlier expiry date, so that the latter get sold first.

I think Task Flow sounds nice, yet doesn't say much about the system.

Like I said: just brainstorming...
February 5, 2010 at 11:43 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
How about: the Deadline Diary system
February 6, 2010 at 16:02 | Unregistered CommenterJ Duckworth
I'm coming round to DŴM ...especially with the Welsh pronunciation, as in "Dwm Rhondda", the tune for that wonderful hymn:

"Guide me, o thou great redeemer,
Pilgrim in this barren land..."

Weirdly appropriate.

Or, verging on sacrilege:

http://screencast.com/t/ZWU2YWU3NTkt
February 7, 2010 at 9:12 | Unregistered CommenterWill
I really like Deadline Diary System.

In the meantime I have done a Ruby On Rails implementation for my own use (I'm more of a digital guy) and I have called it "Taskburner". Doesn't say much about the system, but I really don't like "DWM". My first pick was "Taskfeeder". I might change it again. I don't know yet. Deadline Diary really sounds good to me.

Here's a screenshot if anyone cares: http://www.descy.de/stuff/taskburner.png
February 10, 2010 at 14:02 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
@JCDescy: Taskburner looks awesome. Could you share this tool with us? It would be highly appreciated!
February 13, 2010 at 7:46 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Norden
@Richard Norden: Yes, I have been thinking about that, but I didn't think it's ready. I have added statistics now. I'll make it a multi-user app and see where I can install it. Just give me a few more days. Do you use the current initiative and next pass rules? I can implement a way to highlight entries, yet haven't done so as I don't use it myself.

Here's a new screenshot: http://www.descy.de/stuff/taskburner2.png
(Yes, I have been very lazy yesterday. ;-) I have done more than that though. It's just that I don't put anything on the list that I can finish immediately. Kind of like the 2-minute-rule in GTD.)
February 13, 2010 at 13:30 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
@JCDescy: Thanks, that are good news. I still use my VBA-based implementation for Excel 2007, but Taskburner has a lot more potential. By the way: Will Taskburner be a pure online application installed on your server and accessed online or will there be an option to install it on a local PC for offline usage?

Regarding your question: I don't use the current initiative but have found the "next pass rule" to be quite useful.
February 14, 2010 at 7:07 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Norden
@Mark: Should we move this discussion to somewhere else? I don't want to abuse your blog for this.

@Richard Norden: If you are not exactly an IT guy, I doubt you want to mess with Rails deployment on your machine. Currently this is a server based solution and probably will stay that way for the time being. I am planning to make it fit for mobile devices though. (Note to self: adding entries via SMS) I might chose to open source it, if I see the need and there are proposals from developers.
February 14, 2010 at 11:10 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
@JCDescy: I'm an IT professional, so that should be no big problem But I guess we should wait until Taskburner leaves alpha or beta stage before considering that step. ;-)
February 14, 2010 at 16:54 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Norden
I just designed a "space invaders" view for my excel implementation of DWM http://richardnorden.de/images/DWM/Taskview.jpg:

"Task Invaders" view: http://richardnorden.de/images/DWM/Invaders.jpg

The invader view shows how many tasks are due until the given date and how many tasks have to be completed every day to stay on top of your work.
February 15, 2010 at 16:47 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Norden
Not bad, indeed, not bad. *G*

As you can see from my screenshots I too have something in mind I call "InvadersView". It will be all different from yours, but maybe I can do that in Taskburner, too. Highlighted tasks should be boss aliens then. :-) Or bigger ones for the next-pass tasks and a boss for the current initiative.
February 15, 2010 at 17:14 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy
@JCDescy: I'm not really sure if highlighted "next pass" items should be shown bigger as normal tasks. They are not more important or more difficult, only more urgent. In my opinion they should be shown in the last row (today), as you have to take action on them today.
February 16, 2010 at 4:09 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Norden
Sorry to keep you waiting. I had a lot of stuff to do this week and I also worked some on Taskburner. I think it's ready for public beta now. Yet my hosting providers git and capistrano howtos don't lead to the desired result. I will post here as soon as we have eliminated the problem. Anyone who doesn't want to keep looking here is invited to contact me directly via email which you can find on my website.
February 21, 2010 at 13:17 | Unregistered CommenterJCDescy

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