“A bias towards action”

August 2011

Today I’ve started to try and use the Action Method for organising myself. Mostly this has stemmed from listening to Scott Belseky talk at a Portable talk the other day.

I’ve used Action books for a long time, albeit not that religiously. I’ve never really understood what all the boxes are for. For some reason, out of the various e-versions of the tool, the iPad version of the ActionMethod makes the most sense to me. Reading the blog on , it seems that the iOS devices are a few iterations ahead of the desktop version so perhaps that’s why.

In particular I like the idea of the focus area – a workspace where you can put up to 5 tasks that are your current focus. This is a nice change from tools like Basecamp which seem to assume that so long as something is in a list it will get done. For me the hardest thing is not adding things to a list, but forcing myself to work on less glamourous to-do items. I’m hoping being able to prioritise things each morning will help here, but time will tell. I suppose this is basically the same as picking the most important tasks from a backlog on a regular basis.

The one thing I’m a little unsure of is delegation and cooperation. While I’m sure this tool will work well on an individual level, I’m not all that sure it will work across a team. My thinking here is changing from where it was though – while I used to want to see everything that my team was working on, I’m now starting to think that so long as everyone in my team has a method of organisation that works for them, perhaps that’s good enough? So long as they can produce something that shows what they’re working on and when it’s expected to be completed, I don’t really care how that is done. A little less Big Brother, a little more ignorant meritocracy.

Hopefully this experiment goes well. Either way, I’ll report back once I know more.