Sciral Consistency

07 December 2004

Getting Things Done, bar being the title of a book by David Allen, seems to be very popular at the moment. The geeks have hit critical mass – too many RSS feeds to read, to many projects to write, we need to get things done. Witness Life Hacks, 43folders, the gtd tag.

The big picture for me is work, which I tend to get done because I have to. I’m using notepads and checklists more than ever now, and it seems to be working – a work notebook, numbered pages, for ongoing stuff; a spiral-bound reporter’s pad for scrap notes and jottings; and a Moleskine which is for non-work stuff, and contains notes for fiction alongside Christmas lists, and checkboxes marked Hoover!

The stuff I have real difficulty with, is the not-habit and not-big stuff. Important but non-urgent. Repeated but not regular.

Enter, stage left, Sciral Consistency. Consistency is designed to fill this gap exactly. It’s very basic: along the top of a grid run days, down the side run tasks. When you add a task, you set a minimum and maximum number of days for that task to be done in. The grid fills with coloured squares – red for overdue, yellow for nearly overdue, green for ready, blue for in the clear. Double click on a square and it gains a dot – and all the colours update themselves.

It’s a computerised version of the star-chart you had when you were young for multiplication tables, spelling, or washing-up. It’s only useful for this kind of activity… but it’s very useful. Will see how it works out and I might end up registering it; it certainly prods me to do exactly the kind of tasks I forget.