Remember the old saying “Once you know a thing’s name, you control it”? That wisdom is encoded in one of the most important aspects of the Scrum team software development practice: having a backlog. A backlog is, simply put, a gold plated TODO-list.
I’d like to explore the possibility of generalizing that concept -“having a backlog/TODO-list is the most important thing” – to life as a whole. That is, a system where you can add TODO items for everything you want do in life might be a good idea.
For that to work practically, one must be able to categorize each item (house, garden, car, project X/Y/Z, ..). So each “item” has to be taggable/categorizable. I prefer taggable, because it’s not as hierarchical or black/white as categorization.
So you could add items:
- fix lawn
- media server PC
- democracy flyers
.. each taggable with text strings:
- fix lawn [garden, home, good weather]
- media server PC [home, indoors, money to spend]
- democracy flyers [politics, indoors, time to spend]
All those tags would create a wordcloud, which could be an important way to navigate in the system. One question that arises is Which sort order? Sorting is important as a way to prioritize what to do soon, and what to do later. But since we’re talking different contexts here, not a single (as we are when developing a product in Scrum), we have to think a little extra. Should we sort per tag? That would mean a lot of maintenance. Maybe simply sort issues themselves, and then use that information when viewing a tag/context?
Bonus: One thing that I use personally a lot when writing down TODO-lists is “dependency arrows” or “impediment arrows”. That is, an arrow from B to A means that A must be finished before B can be done. But that might be polishing the shue before there are laces.