Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't repeat your learning curves

I work for a software company. (Tagaabo gets my attention on nights and weekends.)
Almost all of the administrative tasks that I need to do there, such as submitting vacation days or joining a mailing list, are done through web applications. This is pretty typical of most offices these days.
The problem that I have with all of these web applications is that just learning how to use them inevitably takes up time, and there are so many different ones.
As a result, I end up spending a frustratingly huge amount of time figuring out all of the different applications.

And most of the time, once I've finally figured out how to use an application, I don't end up using it again for a long time. But of course when I do need to use it again, I've already forgotton how! (And in many cases, I don't even remember the url of the system.) Then I have to figure out the interface of the system all over again.
However, as you may have guessed, I have devised a way to use Taggabo to help me with this problem. Once I figure out how to use a system, I write in and log it in Tagaabo, with relevant tags.

For example, let's say that today I figured out how to join a mailing list. I write a quick description of the steps in Tagaabo and tag it with "mailing_list". Six months later when I need to join another mailing list and can't for the life of me remember how, I just type 'ma' in the search box of Tagaabo and I see that there is a "mailing_list" tag. When I select it I now have all the information I need to quickly and efficiently join a company mailing list.
The same technique can be applied when you are learning anything.
Nowadays, our complex modern lives require us to learn so many different things.
Even if I've learned something new and feel that I understand it, if I don't think about it for a while or am busy doing something else, that knowledge can be difficult to pull recall. Tagaabo has been really helpful to me in these cases. I just type a related tag name in the search box and find memos that I have made for myself back when I first learned something. Even if it is just a short, tossed off note, the fact that I wrote it makes it easier for me to understand. It's much easier than deciphering the jargon of books or manuals.
So get in the habit of recording the new things that you learn, and you'll be ahead of the curve.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Look Back on Your Achievements

I think that every once in a while it is important to look back and reflect on what you have achieved. There are two important reasons for this.
1. It gives you encouragement and motivation to keep up the good work. When you see how much effort you have already put into something, you won't feel like giving up.
2. It can give you insight as to when you are accomplishing things and when you may not be. Armed with this insight, you can improve how you get things done.

In Tagaabo, have you noticed that when you check off a To Do item, an item tagged with "done" is automatically created?

By looking at those "done" items in calendar view, you can get a sense how and when you have been getting things accomplished.

By combining some other tag and the "done" tags, you can also see how you have been doing in a particular area. Here is how I have been getting things done on the development of Tagaabo.