I have a set of routine steps, some of which are consistently used, others are used as needed.
I use taskwarrior for holding my main list. I use “contexts”: I start my day by typing
task context morning.
This context tracks three tags:
remind- things I need to remember the next day
feeds- I read a lot of information, so I break it up into smaller processing batches
daily- my daily routines
When I add tasks I add tags with a plus:
task add example todo +daily
check email due:today wait:due remind:1d priority:H +daily
This is the sole task I use
priority upon, to ensure it is the first thing I do each cycle.
I don’t really love email, I actually kinda hate it. I try not to use it as often as possible. So I check my mail first thing in the morning. And then I’m done for the day!
Well, mostly. I still occasionally have to check mail for confirmation messages and such.
I practice inbox zero, which means replying to all the messages requiring correspondence, and documenting information I need to keep for whatever reason: I normally do so by saving the email as a text file in an appropriate
The point is: when someone emails me, it doesn’t stay as an email message in an inbox; it is deleted after moving into my knowledge system. And I process it once a day.
Here’s a neat one:
chip away at last.interi.org +remind recur:3d
I went through my old site a while ago and moved over all the interesting conversations from comments. When I only had posts without comments left, I created this task. Now, every three days I log in and check spam comments, and whichever posts have them I move over to talkgroup. In this way spammers are helping me decide at random which remaining posts to move.
Hilariously, when no comments are present, I just move the most recent post, and while I started this thread 20 minutes ago and checked my email, having not looked at my archived site, the most recent post is entitled, “New apartment routines”.
I work with a firm that produces online platforms for cities in California, and maintain a Discourse instance for our work. I have a task that site each morning, as it will have my work tasks lined up for the day. I communicate and document everything project-related there, but when I need to do something I add it to my list:
task add example work todo +work
I have three contexts in all:
morning- my morning routine
work- “worky” things
notwork- because I’m simple
monring I normally switch to
I’m noticing I mostly use
remind and use
feeds inconsistently. Normally I’d say I’d drop the
feeds tag from use, but I actually like sorting all my feeds into one list, so that is a point to fix the metadata on certain recurring tasks.
The idea is when I think…
- “I feel like reading a lot…” -
- “Damn, what was I supposed to do today?!” -
process papers +feeds recur:1d
My answer to the struggle of “paper vs digital” is to use pen and paper for note taking, with a discreet daily task to “process” them.
Processing means crossing all the text, as seen at maiki-notation.
Every item gets a last consideration from me, and relevant items are made into new tasks. Because it is done daily, I never have a very large cache of physical notes, and my tasks are synced into my personal cloud, which happens to be very redundant.
An unexpected pattern emerged: realizing most things are not that important, I batch together stray ideas and requests into notes. It used to be when someone asked me for something, I would note it in my head and carry around that burden until I got to a state of being where I could upload it to my knowledge system. Now I just jot it down as a point and immediately forget it.
It also means processing papers is often a magical time of serendipity! Mystic messages from the universe emerge?!?
I would like to celebrate @susan for eir efforts in destroying my precious brainstuffs, but slicing up all my notes! When I’ve filled an entire sheet of paper with points (because I will cross them out, and continue to use the blank sections; I basically don’t even see crossed out text anymore), front and back, I put it in a pile of papers awaiting ultimate destruction. We had a paper shredder for years, and it never quite worked the way one expected, and gathered a so much dust it became an issue for humans living and breathing nearby, so now we use the Magnolia Paper Destruction Service.
Today I have a few pages of notes, but I was inspired to expand upon the list at What matters to me? and just went with it. I’ll process these other notes tomorrow, or as needed.
As Waldo said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Don’t be a hobgoblin, yo!”
fold up bed +daily
My bed is a bunch of comforters and blankets of varieties like “heavy” and “wool” and “post-modern-lava”. If I didn’t remind myself to fold it up, I wouldn’t have any pacing space. Pacing space is crucial!
empty dl and trash +daily
I keep a simple home directory, and to ensure my downloads never get out of hand, I process them each day.
That means I go in and move each file into
~/docs or I delete it. And I empty the trash cache in GNOME to reclaim storage space.
~/dl for the following:
- download files from one site to upload to another site
- save screenshots of websites
- read “office docs” paying clients send to me because they live 10 years ago
- invoices, receipts, et al
- huge disk images (800mb+)
That’s it. My downloads is a temporary space, as I use it. Nothing stays there, and yet I collect thousands of files there if I don’t take care of it. As it is, I rarely have to move or delete more than a few files a day.
review a book or subject +remind
This is a reminder to read a chapter or two of a book I’ll be reading with Clover later.
Sounds kinda weird, huh?
Home schooling during a pandemic means being full-blown educational administrator! It’s a lot. Fortunately, Clover really thrives in the setup we have, and part of it is just consuming a massive amount of books. I need time to digest the books so I can work the knowledge.
Here are some benefits:
- Myths and history are useful for values - reading ahead allows me to present stories just-in-time for Clover’s personal development. Examples include using a myth to highlight a behavior or impulse, and demonstrating the cyclic nature of history by explaining what’s happened before to discuss the current situation (and are the situations ever abundant…).
- Scaffolding knowledge and narrative - I don’t want to read all the fiction books Clover does, it’s a very high quantity, but I do like knowing the themes, so I can catalog the non-fiction books that support the stories e is reading. I would love to say I’m this graceful sculptor of knowledge, but Clover is a vortex of intellectual consumption and @susan is the maniac throwing all the best books available into the maw of our viciously curious brain-spawn. One thing I’m excited about though is that Clover is starting to show interest in what I regard as “high-level” interests, so it feels like it’s just around the corner when we are really P2P on research and knowledge development!
- Reading kids books is fun! Like, they are so pretty these days! And folks know how to talk without patronizing kids, whaaaaaaat?! It’s a pleasure.
- The first two points work on me, too… Have I mentioned today how really, incredibly big reality is? It totally is! And allowing myself the simplicity of learning, embracing the “beginner’s mind”, I am enriched. Which means I also have @susan to thank for feeding my vortex-maw!
- I sounded over-educated before… now it’s just absurd.
eat breakfast +remind
Food contains energy, it’s a very plain fact.
process a lab note +remind
I have a lab. It is full of notes. I process them. About one a day.
A lot of them end up in #ideation. They were things I kinda sat on, and realized I had literally thousands of non-public notes doing nothing but being a liability for my brain. So now I am cleaning them up to share, so others will take them and interact and maybe if that happens often enough, something might happen.
process civil society +feeds recur:7d
Each day of the week I have one or more process tasks for a category of feeds I subscribe to. Today’s category is “civil society”, feeds I follow to assist me in working towards a civil society.
I try different practices, and currently I select that category, and read and the unread items, marking any I find of interest. Then when there are no unread, I process the interesting items, oldest first. Depending on my workload I give myself different amounts of time, though 20 minutes is the minimum.
Often I’ll get to something later and it is no longer relevant, so this is a way of using time as a filter.
And that was my morning routine. Today, without network access restored and a backlog waiting I’ll now
task context work. However, since I emptied my buckets earlier, I have all my actionable items already enumerated, and each of my workspaces (my inboxes, my notes, my home directory, my home, my body, and my mind) are clear and ready to do the work.
This changed real quick with the new tablet (which is named “tabula”).
Basically, if I don’t have to, I don’t want to use a laptop if I don’t have to; I want to read on an easy to wield device. However, when I type something, anything of any substance, I require a keyboard (so, laptop).
I was trying to spread this around, given the least amount of tools, in this case FreshRSS for feeds, and NewsFlash for local client. Here’s what happened: NewsFlash isn’t “offline”, per se. I think it will/can, but FreshRSS support is added over the FeverAPI and I believe it behaves differently.
Since I never had that offline focus experience with the laptop client, and none of the three FreshRSS clients in F-Droid (EasyRSS, a client called FreshRSS, and Readops) have all the features I was looking for, Readrops at least had a view that just listed recent items, all in one place (seriously, the other two, I would have to drill down into category, then individual feed, then see the new item, and have to go back up the tree to see other new items in other categories and feeds…).
FreshRSS is great, and low resources, and made by cool folks, so I want to keep it.
I used the web interface a bit (in the DuckDuckGo browser, which is neat), and believe I could probably apply a theme or just an easy CSS custom style to make it a bit easier to use on the tablet screen.
But, I realize that I will have multiple FreshRSS instances in the future, so I wanted to move my processing to another part of the chain, and let FreshRSS be great at copying feeds and caching them for me and tracking my read status, and instead kick read-it-later functionality to Wallabag (and an aptly named Read It Later GNOME app available via flatpak).
I use the Wallabag app from F-Droid, and it is great! When I click on a URL I have an option to just add it to Wallabag, which send it to the server, to fetch that page, including images, and then my client will download all of that for me to read, offline, wherever, via tabula.
The app also using the sharing feature in Android, so from Readrops I share articles of interest to the Wallabag app, and that’s that; it is marked as read, and FreshRSS will perform maintenance on that feed in time. No more starring/favorite-ing items between FreshRSS clients.
It is still useful to keep feeds categorized, as some days there is just too much, and I prioritize them. However, the feeds should be processed a lot more often. The Wallabag backlog will have it’s own new routine task, and I will probably use the the starring/favorite option in Wallabag to generate the list for processing that requires me to be at a keyboard/laptop.
Aside: I keep stumbling on that point: keyboard or laptop? Why? Because I’m realizing it’s getting quite groovy and arbitrary. I can build my own interface to all the databases we interact with each day. tabula is an artifact of particular form, and keyboards and touch interfaces are attributes almost defying the definition of “hardware” (typed from a large laptop with a touchscreen display [for some reason…?]).
Basically, I expect in the morning to process new feed items, interesting ones going to Wallabag… Hmmm…, we’ll call Wallabag the “pile”. Publishers have “slush piles”, and I can imagine having several slabs of knowledge, just gathering dust over there, that pile in the corner, so… interesting feed items go to the pile. Then later when I need to freshen my mind, I’ll spend focused time processing the pile, some items of which will have a “star”.
That allows me to finally batch process things I’d like to comment on, probably as an evening or morning routine (depending on if I want to sleep on something [it’s a useful tool, try it out]). In productivity terms, that batch processing is a context, because it is me articulating, and really kinda annotating, documents and ideas here on talkgroup.
Very cool! I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out.