Off Topic: Organization Software?

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I am appealing to the collective wisdom (and possible software knowledge) of the Wreck.
I find myself in the midth of a large number of projects, both work related and personal. They are have a lot of details that need to be updated on a regular basis. All my "job pads" are taking up a lot of space and rarely are up to date. I, by nature, hate calanders and daily planners.
I don't need a calander, a planner or project manager. What I need is some way to keep track of multiple activities and update them on a semi regular basis. And ideally this would run on a computer. It can be simple.
I just need some way to make a lot of lists and keep them current. I don't need to include outside parties. Just me and my projects. Some way to write down needed details and update them constantly.
Is there such a thing? Can this be adapted from something? I want off the shelf and reasonable price. Will a shareware program work?
Paper approaches don't seem to work. It gets stacked up somewhere and when I find it again, it is hopelessy out of date. And updating multiple paper lists can be a chore. Particularyif they are in differentlocations.
Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
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"Lee Michaels" wrote:

============================Lets start by defining the task.
1) When you do an update is it for one project or the same update for many projects?
2) How do you update?
Keyboard?
Pull data from several files to form an updated report?
How do you organize data?
By date, numerical value, descriptive data string?
When it comes to software, I can be dangerous; however, I have found a lot of database files to be a very powerful tool to accomplish what I think you want to do.
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote

All projects are independent of one another. There is very little overlap between them.

Right now, the old school method of writing things down on numerous legal pads. both full size and half size. The big problem with this method is there is duplication involved. So I am spending time writing a new list when there is an old around that covers half of it. And some things on the current lists are already obsolete.

No reports needed. I just need to keep track of the individual project details.

By Project. All projects are independent of one another. But there is often a lot of details for each project. Sometimes several pages of notes per project.

Think to do lists. And individual steps. Process, goals, materials, jobs to be performed and the order they must be done in. Dates don't mean much. Sequence and order are everything. And the fact that some things must be done before other things.

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"Lee Michaels" wrote:

===============================This begs for a database approach.
For example, I use a database file to maintain checking accounts.
These check databases have a number of fields such as whether the bank has processed the check at the end of the month.
This allows me to maintain two running balances.
One is what the bank thinks is in the account, the other is what is the actual remaining balance.
You could do a very similar thing to generate a punch list for a project.
Think of all the checks the bank hasn't paid as items on your punch list.
As you complete a task, enter it as "processed" for that task record, update the database, then print out a new punch list of items to complete.
Enter new data task records as needed.
You can make it as simple or as complex as you wish.
You might start by designing a master database file then take copies and modify it to meet specific project needs.
Whatever you do, once you enter data via keyboard, that is the last time you enter it by keyboard.
Hope this gives you some ideas.
Lew
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"Lew Hodgett" wrote

Thank you Lew.
Iused to design databases many years ago. It has been awhile since I did this sort of thing. I may have to clear out some old mental cobwebs and revisit this area.
The ones I worked with were all the fill in the data field type. I assume that there are some out there now that will allow a more text based approach.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

MindManager software from Mindjet.com. Couple that with the plug-in ResultsManager from gyronix.com and you have a really complete organizer and task tool. You can lay out a project from start to finish in MindManager, then use ResultsManager to tell you what task is up next. Both companies offer a 30 day trial; take it for a spin, it's worth a look. What you are essentially doing is building a flowchart for each project, where you identify the desired finished result, then step back to whatever level of detail to what was required to get to that result. It's easier to use or read about on their website with graphics than for me to explain.
--

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I'll second MindManager and add that there are several companies that have similar products. A google on Mind Manager should come up with a number of them. If you are comfortable with the process, it can be Fun and you find yourself using it to plan trips, design things, just all sorts of stuff.
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I had no idea that this was based on the original mind mapping method originated by Tony Buzan. That is very interesting.
Based on that premise, maybe a mind mapping software application may work.
If you are interested in mindmapping at all, there is a mind mapping based thesaurus there.
http://www.visualthesaurus.com /
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wrote

Fun! I was well on my way to doing the caption of a Thurber cartoon with it. "The hounds of spring are on winter's traces ..." Or word to that effect.
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 00:36:01 -0500, "Lee Michaels"

Mindjets MindManager Pro, is project management software, the wife uses at work.
Mark
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Here are three that could work for you...
KeyNote http://www.tranglos.com/free/index.html
TreePad http://www.treepad.com/treepadfreeware /
Azz Card File http://www.azzcardfile.com /
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

I use both of those (KeyNote at work, TreePad at home because it runs under CrossOver Office). They are also good organizational software but with a bit of a different flavor than the MindManager software I recommended last night. These are great tools for keeping track of reference material or links to files organized in a coherent manner.

Have to check that one out

--

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On Jan 19, 12:36am, "Lee Michaels"

www.versiontracker.com has a ton of apps, mac & windows. Just tell them what you're looking for.
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On 1/18/2010 11:36 PM, Lee Michaels wrote:

I've not used this, but ...
http://www.taskcoach.org /
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On Jan 18, 11:36pm, "Lee Michaels"

I've fount that if you don't use paper methods of organization you won't use "automated" methods either. Computers just mess things up faster.
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I've fount that if you don't use paper methods of organization you won't use "automated" methods either. Computers just mess things up faster. ======================= I use a paper based system now, albeit it crude and inefficient. I am trying to move up to a little more arganization as the scale and number of projects have increased. I could get away with it up till now.
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On 2010-01-19 10:53:54 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
Possible Freudian slip there.....
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On 1/18/2010 11:36 PM, Lee Michaels wrote:

In a hurry to get out of town and don't have time to read the thread.
What I use:
Microsoft Excel ... I wouldn't want to do what I do without it, from keeping precise track of budgetary items as the are incurred multiple times a day, to task lists, to punch lists.
It also works on my blackberry ...
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Lee Michaels wrote:

I use MS Excel Spreadsheet to make lists (as well as simple (hardcopy) weekly calendars--where I can write notes in the boxes) to do what you describe. In fact, I make the weekly calendars with Excel. the program (suite) OpenOffice has equivalent functionality I think, and it's free. Here is the URL to the download.
http://www.openoffice.org /
These tools help me make sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing and that I don't have to go into "crunch mode" too often.
Hope this helps, Bill

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On 1/19/2010 9:33 AM, Swingman wrote:

Forgot to mention ... I roll my own spreadsheets, but there are literally hundreds of "templates" that will get you started, mostly free, plus you probably already own the program:
http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelTemplates /
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