Stay Organized by Writing Everything

January 23, 2020

It’s been too long since my last post. I haven’t gotten enough done on my project lately to make the next post since I’ve had a lot going on with work and other things. Outside of that idea, I guess you could say I’ve had a writer’s block.

I’ve finally gotten some time to get back into my project and I noticed I wasn’t as organized as I had remembered in terms of execution on my idea. I had a kan-ban board, but it was outdated. I had my git history, but that didn’t really help me figure out where I was since my last commit had a clean break. I’d say the best thing I had was the user stories and use cases I was writing up when I was designing the project, but even that was a little out dated. It didn’t include some of the ideas that were popping up as I was developing.

The point is, you never know what the future holds or how long it’ll be before you sit down to work on one of your projects again. The best thing you can do for your future self is be organized and write everything down that you can. It might seem like an extra step to put your idea into your kan-ban board before working on it, but when you end up taking a break for three weeks only to come back having forgotten what the idea was—you will regret it.

The written word lasts forever. Take the small amount of time needed to write out your ideas before you execute them. Not only will you have a log of your ideas, but writing them out will help you sort them out in real time. This allows you to improve the idea as you go. You see the idea in front of you and you can easily tell when it doesn’t feel right and make changes.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had an idea in my head and convinced myself that I’ll remember it for next time, but then forget it completely once that time comes. I don’t think I’m telling you anything new here, but it seems like, when we are feeling lazy, these important responsibilities are the first to be shirked. Sure, if the project isn’t that important and you just want to do a quick test run, shirk away. However, if this is a long-term project that you intend to see through, avoid shirking.

Use a kan-ban board to keep track of all of your features and bugs. Scratch out diagrams to help you think through problems. Write out the requirements of your new feature. Write your thoughts while coming up with new ideas. You can write documentation, blog posts, contributor coding standards, etc. etc. etc. Write as much as possible—you’ll never regret having a record of your thoughts.


Did you enjoy this article? Did you hate it? Practice writing by emailing me at [email protected]! Don’t shirk this responsibility! The more feedback I get, the better job I can do writing helpful articles—and that is important to me. Thanks for reading!