Long story where did OneBox GTD Calendar come from and what is the main idea behind it (was it? will it be?).
Original question is available on version: ru
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There is a certain rule in software development that all bugs and improvements should be recorded. You are coding some project, you have found a bug - you need to write it down. It doesn’t matter if you will correct it, or not you, or no one at all - but you need to write it down. Because you can’t keep everything in your head, there are an infinite number of bugs in the software, even if it seems that they don’t exist, there is always something to get to the bottom of.
The same thing with improvements, if an idea to improve something comes to mind, then it must be written down. Otherwise, you will forget. All software development in the long run is based on this approach. If you don't write down bugs or ideas, then you are a bad developer and an even worse manager (but this is not certain).
It was only later that all sorts of tricky ways of managing projects appeared (and divorcing customers on this). Scrum, kanban, agile, etc. came later, but they all follow the same principle - you should have a list of tasks (bugs and ideas for improvements). Without this list and the discipline to write down (for all team members) all these methodologies before the light bulb, you still won’t do anything with it. It makes no sense to sort tasks according to the Esenhower matrix, scatter them on a Gantt chart, sculpt a kanban board and do a bunch of buzzwords with them if you don’t have a list of tasks or the list is not complete.
I've been in software development for probably 15 years (I don't remember exactly, but somewhere like that). And I feel right in my gut that if I don’t write down the task, then I will forget it. Over time, this skill was somewhat distorted to "madness at maximum speed":
- I need to drive to the store and buy groceries - that means I write down the task;
- missed call? - write down the task "call back to someone";
- new email? - task first
- I wrote a letter and I'm waiting for an answer? - the task for the next week is "to get an answer from such and such";
- to pick up the child from the kindergarten? - guess what?
- to wash hair? - Well, you understand.
The only thing I don't write down is what happens anyway and I can't forget it, like going to the toilet. Everything that I didn’t write down, I’ll forget in 15 minutes. This is not a joke, I even laid a screen of my calendar.
So, 15 years ago, we were still a web studio and sawed everyone for some food - we used the Mantis bug tracker. Open-source thing that allows you to keep a list of bugs for the project. There is a project, inside there is a list of bugs. Bugs have a category: Bug, Improve, Undefined (no one has yet figured out what it will be). Tasks have a linear list of statuses: open, closed, assigned. By modern standards - Mantis is a terrible squalor. Yes, even 15 years ago it already seemed terrible. (like all open source).
Then we switched to Redmine. There, the interface is already nicer, but it is written in Ruby. It must be installed on your server (then everything had to be installed on your server), and this Ruby was constantly dying, it was necessary to pay the ever-thumping system administrator to fix our Redmine back (Sergey hello to you!). The transition from mantis to redmine was more for aesthetic pleasure and for suffering with the system administrator, because it did not make much sense - the same list of tasks, but in a more pleasant interface.
All these bug-tracking softwares are just a list of tasks.
There are softwares for keeping a calendar. They are everywhere, on the phone, in any operating system, they are and they must have. (It is in Ukraine and the CIS that they do not use them, but more on that another time).
But few places have the opportunity to turn a task list into a calendar. Now it is in software units, it used to be even worse.
That is, if you want to plan your day, what tasks, when to decide who you have meetings with, etc., then you have a separate list of tasks, and there is a separate calendar like Google / Apple, in which you additionally plan your day. And then you can not mark on the calendar that you completed this task. No, it's terrible, isn't it?
From the age of 16, I planned every day on the calendar:
- at first it was a pocket PC (even before smartphones),
- then there was Google Calendar,
- then I switched to a Mac and started using Apple Calendar, which was synchronized with Google Calendar,
- then just on Apple Cal,
- then I filed a script that uploaded a list from the mantis / redmine bug tracker to my Google / Apple calendar using a special CalDAV protocol (essentially a mega-text file via RSS subscription) and there I already dragged them every day,
- and only 10 years ago I switched to OneBox, where the calendar and tasks are one and the same, and already done as I needed;
- and at the same time, I saved the entire task history and drag it in the box, even poured it with the Apple / Google calendar.
In fact, OneBox was a kind of continuation: we take the task tracker, before we add to it the ability to scatter tasks on the calendar.
Since I constantly suffer with calendars, over time I realized that if you plan something, then in 80% of cases everything does not go according to plan and the plan needs to be changed. You don't have to abandon the plan, it's just that the plan changes on the fly and needs to be managed. And if you have a calendar in which all tasks are tied to time, then you sit like this at the end of the day and simply drag and drop tasks to save or change the plan. Oh, how pissed off I was to do this: it's 17:00, and I haven't done the task that was at 12:00 yet, I need to move everything in the calendar.
Therefore, the calendar in OneBox was without explicit reference to time. There is a day, within the day there are tasks. You can tie them to the time (if you really need it, for meetings), or you can simply drag them with the mouse in order, what queue you will do. That is, the calendar in OneBox is like a calendar, but it seems like just 7 task lists - one for the day.
If some task did not have time to solve, it will automatically be transferred to the beginning or end of the next day (as you set it up).
It was then that the second calendar appeared, where everything is on time, but I personally do not use it. Although for doctors, car service, etc., it suits much better, there is a key link to time.
This was the beginning of OneBox. I can't say that it was the most important moment.
The most important point is rather to drag everything into one software, because integrating different software such as a bug tracker, calendar, project management, finance, documents, warehouse is oh, what a terrible task. Although our clients love to suffer this for money.
Taking this opportunity, advertising: use GTD Calendar in OneBox OS! ;)
Okay, something long text turned out, it's time to finish. Write a comment if you have read to the end, so that it is clear how long texts are better to write or not to write.
Next time I will write a continuation of the story, although it is not linear in time.
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