Summary: Mark Things Done! - A Comprehensive Productivity System
Questions answered by this recipe
This section is optional; use it to indicate the types of questions (if any) this recipe is intended to answer.
- How can I setup a comprehensive productivity system using PmWiki and Fox?
- How can I build a system using PmWiki that makes use of GTD principles?
- How can I use Fox's form system to make my data easily editable?
- How can I setup a system that only shows me the data I want to see when I need to see it?
- How can I setup a date-based system for incorporating a calendaring system with my GTD action items?
- How can I setup "views" of my data to display particular information on certain pages?
- How can I have an InBox to enter data quickly and process later?
- How can I have a system setup so I can enter projects as place-holders without actions that will later remind me to enter actions?
- How can I setup a system to handle larger projects?
- How can I setup a tagging system so I can only display the information I need?
- How can I make use of a "status" field instead of a "done" style checkbox to better indicated where a project or action stands?
- How can I display a "context" based action list?
- How can I display a "work" based project and action list?
Mark Things Done! - Is a comprehensive productivity system allow you to keep track of schedule events, projects, actions, and reference information.
I wanted a comprehensive and highly customizable action management system. After looking at some of the form processing capabilities of Fox and some of the other functionality built in to PmWiki I started working on a system. Mark Things Done! has grown out of this research and testing.
An informational site is setup at: http://www.markthingsdone.com
A demo site is setup at: http://diligentwarrior.com/mtddemo/
I am dedicated to this system and will fix any issues as well as update the system as I find ways to improve it.
As of today (20100325), I feel I have a decent working system. I use it everyday, so I figured I'd try and bundle it up and release it so other's may benefit from it's use.
- A comprehensive GTD system.
- A infinitely flexible GTD system.
- Have a "status" setting (with modifiable settings) instead of just a "done" checkbox.
- Context setting and ability to modify them.
- Input single action items.
- Create project placeholders with or without a single next action listed.
- Have a "tags" that can be used for filtering actions and project.
- Handle scheduled items.
- Handle recurring scheduled items.
- Only display scheduled items as they near their due dates.
- Handle large projects.
- Display items by context.
- Display completed items.
- Display critical items.
- Create Reference/Resource pages.
- Attach files to reference pages (actually any page).
- Ability to setup various "views".
- Ability to have additional "Discussion" or "Notes" pages.
- Can enter projects without an action. (Project Placeholder).
- Will show you projects that don't have an associated action.
- Defaults to InBox for projects and actions for quick capture and later status assignment.
- and much more . . .
- With Pagelist system you can have an infinite number of "views" on your data.
- Easy to use "forms" for entering and editing data.
- Tag field allows for infinite flexibility to filter data.
- Ability to access data from any computer/phone with an Internet connection.
- Easy to install.
- Easy to backup.
- History and record kept of completed items.
- and much more . . .
- Mark Things Done! is probably best used on it's own, but can be incorporated into an existing installation.
- Install PmWiki.
- Install Fox, FoxEdit, and PowerTools contributed by HansB.
- Optional: FoxDelete and FoxNotify. I'm not currently using them but will probably do so in the future.
- Install PageListPlus. This allows for mutliple exclusions based on the "tags" field.
- Download the file markthingsdone_cb.zipΔ and expand it.
- Copy all of the files in the wiki.d directory to your PmWiki installation. Take care to not overwrite and of your existing files. All files begin with MTD with the exception of the Reference file.
- Rename MTD.HomePage to Main.HomePage if you want to use it on a stand-alone installation.
- Copy the contents of the mtd_site_files to the wiki.d folder on your installation if you want to use it on a stand-alone installation.
- If you don't make use of the mtd_site_files you will need to incorporate the data from the .txt files in the mtd_site_files into your installation.
- Optional but recommended recipes: attachtable, discuss (-Talk) pages.
- Super Easy Installation: If you would like a super easy installation and don't mind setting up a new PmWiki installation for your Mark Things Done! system, then download markthingsdone_complete.zip. Install the latest version of PmWiki and then unpack the markthingsdone_complete.zip and copy the contents to your newly installed PmWiki system. You will probably want to take a look at the config.php file (in the local directory) and change the passwords. Upload your changed version to your server. Then visit your site and start inputting data.
- Even Easier Installation: I know what your saying, "Mark, this all sounds great, but I don't have the time to set this up and try it out." If you'd like to try out this recipe with your own data just send me an email -> mailto:mbacas [snail] gmail [period] com?subject=Access%20to%20Mark%20Things%20Done! with a desired user id and password. I'll send you back a link so you can start using Mark Things Done!. If you want to keep using MTD and setup your own system I'll pack up your files (wiki.d) and send them to you.
There isn't a whole lot displayed on the HomePage in a newly installed system. However, if you edit the HomePage you will see a whole bunch of "Pagelist" entries.
Once you have your installation setup and are able to bring up the HomePage you can simple start creating new actions, projects, and scheduled items. After you start creating some entries they will automatically appear on the HomePage.
The thought for the HomePage pagelist items was to have a simplified view of things that are upcoming, action items, and projects. Adjust the pagelist items to your desired view. The thought was to use the Dashboard for a more extensive view of items or individual view pages.
The power of this system is in the pagelist.
Dates are expected to be input like this: YYYYMMDD. You may want to look into some keyboard macro software.
Time is expected to be entered as: HH:MM. It is expected to be entered as 24 hour format.
If you have any questions feel free to send me an email -> mailto:mbacas [snail] gmail [period] com?subject=Question%20about%20Mark%20Things%20Done!.
Big Projects could be handled by creating individual project pages that filtered on tags that contained that projects name. (Perhaps proceed all projects with a particular character, ie ! or #).
All of the various runway (David Allen analogy for various areas in life) could also be handled by tags and pagelists that filter on those.
In addition, if you use this system for both personal and work related items (as David Allen suggests), then you can setup a work related view of your items filtered by tags with your company name.
Done vs. Closed status: Personally I use the Done status as an I completed this item/action/project and I use the Closed status to indicate that something happened (someone else did something) to cause the item/action/project to be completed.
Recurring Schedule Events
These can be handled by creating a scheduled event and setting the status to recurring. Then selecting a frequency. Items do not automatically roll-over so you will need to reset the date after completion of the current iteration.
Reference pages can be created and searched upon. New pages are created with the PowerTools newticket feature.
If the recipe has multiple releases, then release notes can be placed here. Note that it's often easier for people to work with "release dates" instead of "version numbers".
- 20100331: Added auto insert of date when creating schedule entries.
- 20100330: Added recurring frequency. This allows for better/easier filter by the pagelist system.
- 20100328: Initial release.
This space is for User-contributed commentary and notes.
Please include your name and a date (eg 2007-05-19) along with your comment.
Optional alternative: create a new page with a name like "ThisRecipe-Talk" (e.g. PmCalendar-Talk).
See discussion at MarkThingsDone-Talk
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