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Re: [O] Suggestions for progress tracking

From: David Rogers
Subject: Re: [O] Suggestions for progress tracking
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:39:37 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.2.50 (gnu/linux)

Eric Abrahamsen <address@hidden> writes:

> I'm starting another novel translation, and want to keep track of
> progress in org (I've blown too many deadlines in the past). I've been
> looking at the habits functionality, but it doesn't quite match what I
> want, and I'm looking for a little advice here. I'd like to:
> 1. Set myself a minimum of pages translated per day, on weekdays.
> 2. Record how many pages I do each day.
> 3. View some habit-style report of how I'm doing relative to my goal.
> 4. Project when I will be done with the novel at the current rate of
> progress.
> Obviously I'll be writing some custom elisp to get all of this
> functionality, but I'm looking for some advice on the best way to build
> the basics. Habits are currently based on either/or values: "done" or
> "not done", which doesn't incorporate enough detail. Properties seem
> like the best way to keep track of number of pages translated per day,
> but that means having a separate TODO heading for each day of work.
> State logging could do it, but there are no pre-fab ways of extracting
> data out of the log itself.
> It seems like there are so many good tools here: the history reporting
> of habits, or the progress cookies you can put in headlines, etc. But
> they're all tied to headlines or list items being in an on or off state:
> TODO/DONE, checked/unchecked.

I think the key for making this work with Org is choosing a unit of work
(ten pages, a hundred pages, one page, one chapter, whatever) as your
standard, thus allowing you to use the on/off nature of the list items
to your advantage. Org also gives flexibility about the time-frames
you're working within, so use that too if necessary.

In my life, at least, habits really are "did I do it or not", not "how
much did I do" - so Org's interpretation of the concept seems reasonable
to me.

Basically, for a rough example, every ten pages might become one TODO
sub-task, waiting to get checked off, under the heading of this
novel. If you set yourself a standard that was too pessimistic or too
optimistic, you'd have to change the TODOs later, either by changing
your chunk sizes or by changing your time frames. (e.g. if a hundred
pages a day turns out to be far too much, you have the option of
adjusting the number of pages, the number of days, or both.)

Maybe your original method, tallying pages per day after the fact, could
be used for the first few days, to arrive at some reasonable numbers to
plug into the habits.


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