A while ago, when I offered you all the wisdom of the Open Source Truisms, I spoke about how you shouldn't do things without knowing the reason why. It has been a while since then, but I wanted to say something else along these lines, and it is this:

Keep notes

Day after day, almost all of us have conversations along the lines of "Oh yes, I'll get to that when I have a moment". Some of us manage to avoid the common follow-up conversation of "Oh no! I forgot, I'll sort it out soon I promise". I'd hazard a guess that none of us remember everything we agree to do all the time, and even when we do remember we often end up putting it off. I am as guilty of this as the next person.

One way I have learned to get better though, is to ensure that I keep a daily journal at work (and do something similar for home). I ensure that any time I agree to do something, I make a note of it with a particular greppable pattern associated with it (specifically ACTION:). When something has a particular deadline, I include the deadline with the note, or put something into my calendar to remind me. Once I've done the thing, I mark it with another distinct pattern (namely **DONE**) and every morning I read the previous day's journal and carry any incomplete things forward in a special section called "Carried actions". This is a poor-man's approach to a self-organisation technique known as 'Getting Things Done' - Lars wrote a book along the same lines, called Getting Things Done for Hackers.

While I've got the hang of this approach for work, for my personal hacking I tend to use Trello and while it's not free software (so I know I'll get panned) I do find it works very well to help me manage lists of tasks.

In the end, it doesn't matter how you keep your notes and record your actions to take, what matters is that you do keep notes, record actions, and get things done. Your homework is simple this week. For those of you who already keep notes and record actions - simply go to your notes and ensure that you've cleared as many actions as you can as quickly as you can, and that your notes are complete and likely to be useful to future-you. For those of you who are not yet making notes and getting things done, your homework is to go to the wider web and look for options, try a few out, and be sure to mark your homework as **DONE** when you've found a way to do it which works for you.