Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fix If Time

Trying to sort out minor problems with the proofs for an excerpt of Your Name Here which is to appear in n+1, not to mention major problems sorting out health insurance with the Kunstlersozialkasse (lead time 6 months) with help from Johanna (well, all right, I have mentioned them but the tedium is in the details and these I spare you). Came up against a terrible piece of self-knowledge while trying to tackle project management through a 45-day-free-trial to FoggBugz.

Foggbugz lets you establish projects, with cases within each project, and each case is assigned a priority level. There are also other excellent features - you can set up online discussion groups for customers, you can set up a WYSIWYG wiki either for internal use or public access, problems are raised and resolved, correspondence can be incorporated in the history of the project - it's great, exactly the thing publishers should be using. The thing that's very tiring, after all, is the fact that one often thinks one has resolved an issue through e-mail correspondence with Person A, except that Person A doesn't bother to tell Person B - there's no single place with a history of all the discussions relating to a book, the tasks to be done. Also, of course, people spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel; a technical problem may be solved for the production of one book, but the knowledge is lost, there's no reasonably public record of the solution.

So yes, it's great, but selecting priorities for various stages of various projects was bad news. The fact is, after all, that finishing the book on sexual codes is top priority, a 1 Must Fix, various articles that might or might not get published are a 2, and blogging is at best a 4 Fix If Time and if we're honest a 6 Fix If Time. So how can it be that I treat my 6 Fix If Time activity as if it were top priority, and my top priority activity as if there were all the time in the world?

Well, I know, but I'm not saying.

Tomorrow will be better.

On a more cheerful note, Anatol Stefanowitsch (who has luckily not yet had the Foggbugz Aha! moment) has a post today on the great Eskimo-words-for-snow debate (a term which would, as an earlier post suggests, itself count as a word for snow in Inuktikut).

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