Fun fact: If you use Chrome and Google Drive/docs stuff — which I wouldn't, given more choice, but it's what we use at work, so I'm stuck with it, rather like I was stuck with MS Office years ago — you can type "doc.new" or "sheet.new" into the address bar to open a new, blank document or spreadsheet.
I started a new spreadsheet, to track my personal projects. Completely hilariously, especially given that I manage multiple projects for a living, I've never done this exact thing, really, for my personal ones. Maybe it was too frightening to see them all at once? But I realized after yesterday's post that I want to improve my visibility: into what's done and not, what's coming up, what's stuck, and how much time I can actually devote to them. Right now, I think of "projects" in kind of a lump, roughly divided into physical, writing, making things, etc., and I snatch "project time" when I can and apply it to whatever's been on my mind the most that day.
It's…not very efficient. And it makes it way too easy to forget about or shelve things that are at difficult stages, instead of working through them.
I am very aware of all the software out there that supposedly does this, but I've had most or all of it fail on me in previous attempts, and really what I want right now is best done in a simple spreadsheet: I just want to SEE them all, their statuses, what they need next, stuff like that. And I want that information to just be there, in front of me, without being hidden away in a new piece of software that's actually in itself a project too. I always wind up feeling like I spend more time using project-management software than managing projects — it's telling, too, that at work, I track my projects mostly in a paper notebook, and in spreadsheets when I need to share the info (like for budgets and schedules). Things like Trello and Asana and stuff are really only useful if groups are using them, and I do all the management myself. I've universally found that they wind up costing more time to setup and use than they ever save with any of their features. (Same for mind-mapping software, which I gave several of a try…it doesn't do anything that paper doesn't do better except perhaps save links, which isn't a thing I need it for. And it took more time to set those up than I probably would have spent, say, writing a short-story.)
So. Spreadsheet. For now I'm just populating it, as projects occur to me; it's frightening how many of them are buried deep and only even surface in my mind when something external reminds me of them. I know I can't work on them all at once, and that probably there just ARE too many to finish — but at least this way, I can hopefully be more conscious about what's what, and where the time is going or should go.
Wish me luck, and if you have any brilliant ideas, I'm all ears!
(What a wonderful and weird phrase, "I'm all ears". So evocative, and without the slightest bit of fancy language. I love things like that! Another one I ran across recently is the word "painstaking". Think about it. It's something that someone took pain in order to get perfect: They worked for hours on end, got a sore neck, missed sleep…so we have one word that identifies things that caused their creator pain, and it describes what we mean by it perfectly. <3!)