Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Softlaunch ... no fanfare ...

Mind Traffic Control

This is my first Google Application Engine application. A kind of next-action list for the Twitter generation.

Basic instructions :

1) You need a Google account to login (eg. Gmail) ... it's a GAE app.

2) There's a blue box for inputting tasks you need to do. Once you start entering them, Mind Traffic Control will show you your next action.

3) At which point you have a choice. Say you did it. Delay it (push it to the back of the queue). Delegate it to another user. Defer it to a future date. Or delete it altogether.

4) Keep going.

There are a couple of ideas behind this. First, that people have been getting too hooked up on the idea of "organizing" their tasks and actions into lists. But organization itself isn't really an end, it's a means towards making sure you remember and discover your tasks, as a means towards the ultimate end of getting stuff done. So instead of thinking of tasks as list-management, Mind Traffic Control treats tasks as un-structured flows.

The real focus is on capturing the tasks as quickly and easily as possible. So, inspired by Twitter and Folknology's Rel3, the input box is always there at the top of your page.

The other focus is when the task is presented to you. At this point you need all your options to quickly route the task. In a more static system we might say route into particular "bins" but here it might be better to say "channels" (unless it's the ultimate sink of "done" or "deleted".

Another idea ... it's meant to be the simplest workflow that could possibly work. Just short messages which can be routed. Everything else has to be constructed by humans on top of this. But as, once again, we've seen with twitter, it looks like humans are pretty good at filling out these communication channels.

Anyway, off to bed ... will write more posts here soon ...

please have a try with Mind Traffic Control, and if you have any comments, feel free to post them here.
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