Tracing a flow session
I've been thinking a lot about tracing a work session's journey. There's valuable information within the journey itself, but it's typically lost in the sea of disparate apps.
I've been using tools to help me get into flow, but tracing isn't part of any of these (at least not yet). Plus, I often find it helps to start a flow session in order to map out the tasks (vs. mapping them all out before flow). Sometimes that's even required, as task discovery often lives inside of task execution.
Beyond discovered tasks, what other information is buried within the work process?
- Trade-offs: As you work, you're making trade-offs. But they are often implicit in the final artifacts (e.g. subtasks or project updates). Ideally they
- Edge cases: What boundaries have you stumbled into? Find anything you'd not yet considered?
- Rabbit holes: Which paths are wrought with scope creep? Or aren't worth the effort?
- Learnings: Did you learn anything new or interesting as you went?
Some of these thoughts may seep into your typical artifacts (e.g. code comments, task comments, etc.). But even then they're often implicit and unlabeled.
What if we could trace our path through a flow session, recording this information as we go?
This idea has been lodged in my brain for a while, so I think it's time to give it a try. Here's what I'm imagining:
- Start a work session, with some indication as to the starting point (e.g. a task or project name)
- Log stuff as you work. These logs get written somewhere and connected back to the original starting point.
- End the session. Any notes and logs are preserved and organized by session.
I've got a proof-of-concept rolling around in my head, stay tuned for more on what I rig up.