Keeping Track

In the past year or so that I’ve been working for Mozilla I’ve found myself slowly working my way through a bunch of different ways to keep track of all of the work on my plate. I still don’t think I’ve found the best way so I wondered what other people do to manage such things?

For a rough idea of my work, most of my work is bug oriented. Either bugs that I want to work on when I get some time, bugs I am actively working on, bugs I am waiting for review on, bugs I am reviewing, bugs I am waiting to check in, bugs I want to backport to a branch… and so on. Then there is other work like planning future work and working with extension authors to help resolve their problems.

A few different approaches I’ve tried:

Bug ASSIGNED status

Simplest of all, gives me a long list of stuff I am looking at. Totally fails for prospective work though and the list gets somewhat daunting.

Status whiteboard flags

I tried for a while sticking special flags into the status whiteboard that could then be spotted in special bug queries so I could see what state each bug was in. This kind of worked, though I imagine irritated some with bugspam as I maintained the flags and a couple of times other people changed the flags.

Bugzilla tagging

Bugzilla has this tagging feature that basically lets you create named buglists. Basically like using the whiteboard stuff without having to use the whiteboard. Sadly Bugzilla’s tagging UI sucks really hard.

Bookmark tagging

With Firefox 3 I can bookmark my bugs and tag them, and use smart bookmark folders as my buglists right? Well sort of, the folder list isn’t really enough detail and there are issues with manually created smart folders that kept losing my bookmarks.

Task management software

Finally bit the bullet and stuck all of this stuff into some task managent software (Omnifocus as it happens). This is so far going ok but seems to require more dedication to keep the list up to date, I think because of having to switch to a different application so much.

So what are other people doing?