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Personal Process Improvements

Since an exchange with Ray a couple months ago, I’ve been thinking more about my personal processes, and how ad hoc they are — and how ad hoc everyone’s personal processes are. There are all these basic tasks that we each figure out how to do our own way.

Some of that probably makes sense — that we figure out a system that works for the way we think and what we need to do — but also, probably a lot of us could have processes that work better? I certainly realized, in explaining my process for writing posts on this digital garden, that the process I’ve developed is… more steps and more complicated than it needs to be. What other processes do I have on auto-pilot that, frankly, suck?

Many systems have been developed for time and task management, and for email* — if you seek them out. How many people do?

And what about for everything else? Sure, there is no one answer that will work for everyone, but how many of us have created Rube Goldberg workflows unintentionally?

We focus so much on which tools to use that we often overlook how we use them in the big picture. There are tutorials on how to accomplish XYZ task using a tool, but not so much piecing it together into a whole process. (Or maybe I’m reading the wrong blogs.) (I do recall noticing Photo Cascadia sharing some photography workflows.) I’ve included a few of my favorite “mental tools” (e.g. kanban, travel binder, card ) tangential to my processes on my “uses” page.