Thursday, October 27, 2005

Contentious Issues Aren't.

Often we will waste tremendous amounts of time debating a choice between alternatives. Where to have lunch, how to implement a feature, how to model some data, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum.

Funny thing is, we usually don't get into debates like this unless there are compelling arguments on both sides of the issue. The more heated the arguments, the more likely it is that either alternative provides near equal utility.

In these cases, you might as well flip a coin. Make an arbitrary decision; move on.

Similary, don't bother defending the alternative you chose under such circumstances. You made a choice because you had to, not because you had a clear superior alternative. If you could have defended your alternative, the decision wouldn't have been arbitrary.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Boing Boing: FIling system optimizes documents by use-frequency

This rather different approach to filing treats the file cabinet as a "stack". When you file something, you put it at the front of the shelf. When you pull it to work with it, you return it to the front of the shelf when you're done. This results in the files naturally moving to the back of the shelf if you're not working with them, and staying near the front of the shelf if you refer to them frequently.
On the one hand, intriguing. On the other hand, sounds an awful lot like the pile of folders I had on my desk before I learned to file things away.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Two great online resources is a collection of creativity methods for generating and selecting ideas. is a collection of persuasion methods.

Both of these sites are maintained by David Straker, author of the cult classic Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It Notes

i d e a * i d e a - How to Bubble Map - drawing your To Do the stress-free way -

Great idea for visualizing your to-do list in terms of how much mindshare each item has. Could also be adapted for how Important or Urgent.