in Productivity

How WordPress-powered P2 is (hopefully) going to leave me more organized and productive!

Ever since I read Matt Mullenweg’s post How P2 Changed Automattic I’ve been thinking about how I could best utilise a similar system. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video:

But then it dawned on me this morning: there’s no reason I couldn’t use such a system for private, me-only stuff!

As E-Learning Staff Tutor last year and as Director of E-Learning this year, I’ve been keeping a record of what I’ve been up to. This is as much about me being able to cross-reference stuff as proving to others (if needed) that I’ve been fulfilling my role. Up until now I’ve been using Google Docs, which looks like this:

Work record on Google Docs

Now, however, with WordPress, the P2 theme and a plugin called Absolute Privacy, I’ve got a close, web-based system that should hopefully be a lot more flexible and powerful:

Word record on WordPress/P2 system

We’re discussing productivity for educators tonight at EdTechRoundUp‘s weekly meeting. Why not join us? I’ll post my reflections on this system next week! :-D

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  • http://www.josepicardo.com José Picardo

    This is great Doug. Can it schedule stuff for you as well? Is there a calendar plug in that would allow you to do that?

    • http://dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

      I suppose a Google Calendar window in the sidebar could add that? Might try it – thanks Jose!

  • http://www.mrstucke.com mrstucke

    Looks a neat WordPress application, could it be used for pupil eportfolios – like http://www.thethinkingstick.com/true-e-folios-for-students ?

    • http://dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

      Thanks for link to Jeff Utecht’s post, Dan. Great stuff! It could indeed be used for something like that – as a record of work done with links to where it is online.

      In fact, I’d *much* prefer such an ‘open’ system rather than going down the closed, Learning Platform route. I’m not sure my colleagues would agree, however…

      • http://www.mrstucke.com mrstucke

        Speaking of open/closed, what are you doing about the fact that pupils can make Google Apps Docs/Sites public to Web?

        • http://dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

          When I first read of Google’s plan to make Google Docs indexable by search engines, I turned off the functionality. On reflection, I’ve turned it back on.

          So long as we educate users (staff AND students) as to what to do, I can think of no better way to allow people to quickly and easily show off what they’ve been doing! :-)

    • http://www.mensitaly.com/tools.aspx?id=182 black tuxedo

      this helps me a lot on my work..nice post! :X

  • Anonymous

    I’m interested to know what you think the advantage of this is over some of the standard GTD apps – Things, TheHitList, OmniFocus etc? or the webapps like Remember the Milk?

    I have been using the Things iPhone apps for over a year and find this a great way to keep track of all the things that I need to do… Lots of the things that I need to do crop up when I am away from a computer (walking about the school etc) and your solution looks like I would need something else to keep track of things until I have a chance to sit down and add them… Also as @josepicardo points out, can you do scheduled tasks?

    I’m just unsure why you would go this route when there are many different GTD systems already available?

    • http://dougbelshaw.com Doug Belshaw

      Andy, I think you slightly misunderstand my intentions for this. It’s not so
      much as task list as a record of things I *have* done! :-)

      • Anonymous

        Sounds like a nice idea – I wish I had enough time to record what I’ve
        done! I hardly have enough time to actually do what I’ve done!!

  • http://twitter.com/damian613 Damian Bariexca

    I did a very similar thing last year, only instead of using a self-hosted solution, I used a microblogging site called Quillpill.com that, at the time, promoted its main focus as being for diary or record-keeping. I even linked to it in a blog post to share with my readers.

    To speak to one part of Andy’s question, a major advantage of using a self-hosted solution as opposed to a web app is that you maintain more control over your data. I had about four months’ worth of reflections & accomplishments in my Quillpill “diary”, but the company apparently disappeared at some point in the last 6-8 months. All that is gone now, and all that’s left of http://www.quillpill.com is a parked page at their former domain.

    I’m not suggesting such an event is likely to happen with one of the bigger companies like Microsoft or Google, but it is entirely possible with the smaller web startups. This is one reason I haven’t made the jump to working entirely in the cloud. Rather, I’m mainly interested in combination web apps with desktop companions that synchronize and make information ubiquitously accessible, but also secure in the sense that if, say, Evernote’s servers blew up tomorrow, I still have all my information stored locally. I’m a big fan of apps like XMind, Evernote, Dropbox, and Live Sync for this reason

    What Doug proposes, while not a true desktop-web sync-able solution, I think is an improvement over using a web app because WordPress backups are easily created, either manually or automatically via plugins.

  • http://www.support4ict.com Catherine Nini

    Long time reader / 1st time poster. Really enjoy reading the blog, keep up the good work. Will definitely start posting more oftenin the near future.

    • Doug Belshaw

      Thanks for the comment and encouragement! :-)

    • Doug Belshaw

      Thanks for the comment and encouragement! :-)