Original post

That’s actually a good segue into the non-developer-related tools that we use. We touched a little bit on the project management stuff, but that’s gonna be part of lives, right? So if I sit down to do work for eight hours for my employer, a lot of things are happening. It’s not like I’m sitting there from 9 o’clock to five o’clock without moving, without doing things, without having the world trying to get my attention for something… There’s a bill that needs to get paid, I need to pick up my kids from the bus stop… All these things are always going on, and like you say, John, you need to be able to offload things out of your mind.

I’ll be in the middle of writing a lot of code, and all of a sudden I remember something that I need to do in the house somewhere. I’m like “Oh, I forgot about that thing”, and I need to quickly be able to make a note about it somewhere and get back to what I’m doing. That’s how our brains work. it doesn’t give you a choice as to when things pop up. Heck, books have been written about how we try to facilitate our brain to get into flow… But we have no control over that, so we have to be able to adjust and roll with the punches, so to speak, that our brain keeps throwing our way, to sort of still manage to get things done.

[00:47:54.18] So along those lines, I use a test management tool called Things. It has a nice keyboard shortcut, it quickly brings up a little HUD display, I quickly type something in, and I hit enter, and it’s not on my brain… I think. I hope.

So things like that, like task management – that’s something I rely on quite a bit. And I use my calendar, believe it or not, to actually track my time. What I’m working on when, where does my time … At the end of the day I go through a process where I look at my day and I’m like “Hey, what did you get done today?”

If I don’t have things on my calendar, I account for my time. That’s my biggest pet peeve, not knowing where my time went… So I use the calendar to track that stuff. At the end of the week, I’m like “Okay, you had a productive week” or “You didn’t. Do better.”

Things like that – I find that the world around us affects our ability to be productive and get things done as we develop code… But these things too require tooling, I think.