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How I keep notes on different projects


A lot of people know me as the person full of notes and lists. I'm always write things down, trying to keep everything organized. So, the other day, I found myself chatting with a friend about my project management techniques. I explained how I strive to stay cool, keep everything on track, and avoid losing my mind in the process.

When diving into a new project, which is pretty common in my current role, I always start with a blueprint. Here's the skeleton I use:

# Project name
## Details
### Expectations
### Leaders
### Assholes
### Risks
### Competitors
## Tech details
## Tasks & Worklog

Let's break it down. Firstly, the Details section. I usually begin with two paragraphs outlining the project's description, answering the 'what' and 'why'. Then come the subsections:

Tech details:

This section varies depending on the project but typically includes:

  • Design documents: I keep a log of design documents, presentations and important meetings, with the link and a brief description.
  • Relevant technology: Links to tools and best practices.
  • Security: Any concerns or considerations.
  • Coding style, CI, test: Links to relevant resources.
  • Tasks & Meetings: Where and when.

Tasks & Worklogs:

I maintain a weekly log of my activities, including any issues or discussions I need to raise with my manager. In 2024, I aim to include important Slack discussions here too. Sometimes those threads can get lengthy, but keeping track helps I think that will help me understand things down the line.

Finally, this blueprint has been a game-changer for me, adding clarity to projects. It helps me understand our project's current status and keeps my pessimistic thoughts about any project within manageable bounds and it helps me to guide over the twist and turns.


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