Get a grip on your tasks

Most time management books will tell you to think of your three- to
five-year goals, come up with projects, and then make tasks based on
those projects.

You know that life doesn’t happen as neatly as that. Instead, tasks
come at you from all sides: the bugs you discover while you read code,
the e-mails you get from coworkers, the milk that you need to pick up
on the way home. The task list just keeps getting bigger.

I want to help you set up Emacs so that it will:

  • capture all those tasks so that you don’t worry about forgetting anything,
  • show you what you need to do so that you can work effectively,
  • help you organize your day, your week, your life,
  • show you what you’ve accomplished so that you have a feeling of progress,
  • help you plan the things that _you_ want to do, and
  • fit the way _you_ want to work, whether that’s Franklin-Covey, GTD, or a home-brew system for keeping sane.

If you’ve been keeping your task list in your head, you’ll find it
immensely helpful to get it out and into your computer. If you swear
by your day planner or index cards, you might find that Emacs is not
only a good backup, but it can also give you an overview of where
you’re going and where you’ve been. If you need to bill for your time,
you’ll love how time tracking is integrated into your task list. And
even if you’ve never written a line of Emacs Lisp before, you might
find that customizing Emacs to fit the way you think will *transform*
the way you think.

Give it a try. Use Emacs to manage your tasks for a month. Write
everything down in it. Use it to run your life. At the end of the
month, if it doesn’t feel natural to you, at least you can say that
Emacs really isn’t just an editor, it’s a way of life. It might not be
_your_ way of life, but you’ll have learned something from it,
guaranteed.

In this chapter, you will learn how to:

  • Plan from your projects (top-down)
  • Plan from your task list (bottom-up)
  • Schedule the tasks
  • View your schedule and tasks
  • Organize the tasks into projects
  • Track your time
  • Review your accomplishments

Let’s get started!

(This is a draft for my book, “Wicked Cool Emacs”. See other Wicked Cool Emacs blog entries.)

On Technorati: , ,

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-summary-number-of-articles-in-thread -
Function: Return the number of articles in THREAD.