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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

shortText - saveTime?

A friend asked me what I thought of shortText today. I've had a play with it before but had put it in the Web2.0 toy basket and forgotten about it.

Then I got it out again today as I head-scratch over ingenious ways to manage lots of different projects at once and stick to deadlines!

One thing I'm learning about managing projects is to scoop and do things up as you go along rather than putting them on lists or waiting 'till the right moment.

For example, I always have to write an evaluation report at the end of a course. One of the worst things to do is to wait until the project is over before I start collecting feedback on the process; the second worst thing is to say I'll keep observation notes of the process; and the third worst thing is to go back and wade through the course documents and conversations looking for comments and feedback that people made during the process.

So at the moment Nancy and I are keeping a Whiteboard in Basecamp where we just copy/paste the feedback or reflections people are making. We also jot down our thoughts (finished or not) as we go along. By the end of the course we'll have a Whiteboard full of the things we scooped up during the process. That will make it easier - and more informative - in writing up the final report.

But I want to experiment now with shortText. With shortText you get a unique URL for a short text you write. So, this is my idea. We scoop up feedback and thoughts during the process of the course, putting each one into shortTexts as we go along. Save the shortText in with relevant tags e.g. Projectname, ProjectEvaluation ... Then at the end of the course all thoughts related to Project Evaluation (for example) will be neatly filed in under its own tag.

You can also make comments on the shortText and it has RSS.

I think I might have found a time-saver!

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