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Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
BXLook into information designers : E-Mail from Richi's server (information)


4. Forms, forms, forms... (2005.06.30:4)

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I have to confess: I'm crazy about forms. When a post like a million monkeys typing: The Crossroads Form turns up in my RSS aggregator, I can't help but print out a copy and give it a whirl. I drool over the subtle shades of Douglas Johnston's templates and the clean curves of John Norris' work. I am Sacha Chua, and I am a forms addict.

I'm fascinated by the way people organize information. Forms and diagrams are scaffolds for our ideas, giving structure and support. They make information easy to understand months or even years afterwards. Forms make it _fun_ to explore thoughts and share them with others.

Even doodles on a napkin are enriched by a judiciously chosen diagram. Clusters. Fishbones. Mindmaps. Names roll off my tongue like old friends who've seen me through problems time and again. I even diagram my way out of stuckness, pausing in the middle of a fit to sketch the causes of my difficulties and finding ways to deal with them.

I want to learn how to design good forms. I want to learn about the different designs people use and when each one is appropriate. I want to listen to people's information needs and pull just the right template out of a vast library of forms, checklists and diagrams. I want to design information.

コンピュータがこの会社に導入されつつあります。 Computers are being introduced into this company.

3. Template for Debriefing (2005.06.30:1)

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Based on Open Loops: Post-Project Analysis: A Strategy for Performance Improvement:

During a debriefing, participants should be nameless and rankless.

Review the Objective


Facilitator should continue questioning until detailed positive and negative points emerge. Improvement comes by dealing with the negatives and remembering the positives.

Revisit original project plan

  • Were the outcomes and success criteria clear?
  • Were there any miscommunications?
  • Was the project too complex for the team?

Analyze what happened

  • Review the data. Highlight and discuss mistakes.

Review the project outcomes

  • Which success criteria were met or not met?

Lessons Learned

2. Forms (2005.06.27:5)

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My mom's amazing. Her interest in organizing information helped professionalize the advertising photography industry here in the Philippines. She told me how they exchanged forms with other photographers, sharing with them the format for the cost estimates so that clients would be able to find information easily.

Many of the forms we use haven't been shared with other people in the industry. I wonder when they're going to do another forms exchange to help other photographers learn how to manage their work? I really admire the way my mom keeps looking for ways to improve the workflow. Now we're getting client call reports from the account executives. Way cool!

I want to get into that sort of stuff. I want to learn how to identify the kind of information we need to capture and design the forms to make it easier for people to write things down. My mom's still working on finding a balance between asking for too little and too much information. People skip fields if the form asks for too much information. Hmm...

US laws say that blank forms aren't protected by copyright because the forms do not contain information in themselves. I wonder what our laws say? Anyway, this is cool stuff. I want to do things like the D.I.Y. Hipster PDA templates...

何社製のコンピューターをお使いですか。 What make of computer do you use?

1. Information Design (2005.06.22:7)

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While reading about presentation skills, I stumbled across a page entitled "So where are all the Information Designers?". I found a name for what I'm interested in! Information design is what I do with wikis. I should learn more about this.

冗談を言うほど賢いコンピューターがありえるだろうか。 Can there be a computer intelligent enough to tell a joke?

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