Logging Your Work

Aug 07 2008

As a product manager in a dynamic startup, my schedule can easily become very busy. With the team headcount growing and an always-expanding to-do list, I thought it would be good to start logging my time more precisely in order to track time-eaters and make myself more effective.

That's why I started recording most of the stuff I did on a wiki page on our intranet. Each time I undertook a task (something that takes more than 30 minutes of work) I added a bullet point referencing it on the page and saved it. This way, I can see what I'm speding my time doing and work with my manager and teammates to become more efficient at work. Though a bit rough, I felt I was off to a good start.

That was before stumbling on ididwork, an innovative service that lets employees record what they're doing through an interface that's reminiscent of Twitter's :

Once the data collected, users can get an analysis of it and forward it to their managers in order to receive feedback. I thought the concept was a great idea, even easier to use than the wiki-page approach. However, a couple issues got me thinking prior to using it for real :

  • Where's the data located ? Do I really need another web service ? I already have so many accounts that having to use an additional one felt a bit annoying to me.
  • That kind of date should really be located on our intranet. That's where all our work data is located, everyone in the company has an account there and that's the place where they would expect finding info about my work.

    To sum things up : why should I go through the registration & sharing hassle to log data that should really be on our intranet ?

    Happily enough, I found out I could get the best of both worlds (or almost) using XWiki Workspaces' workstream application. Inspired of Twitter, the workstream application lets me log what I'm doing and share it with my coworkers.

This way, I get both the benefits of being able to log my daily work easily and having the ability to let the people I'm working with within the company know what I'm up to. Sure, I don't get all the bells and whistles of a statistics analysis such as the one provided by ididwork, but given XWiki's extensive API and its charting capabilities that wouldn't be hard to implement for our dev team. Core features are covered and I get the ability to share the data with relevant people right away.

Wanna try out XWiki Workspaces ? Check out its latest version on XWiki.org !