So I recently became a manager at a software startup and my day to day work did a full 180. Instead of coding I am now sitting the entire day in meetings, hold 1on1s, have to process what is being said in those meetings, aggregate things and either make decisions based on that or do follow-up meetings.
The job is now all about information management and staying on top of things. I am an avid GTD user and was able to organize most of my life with Things (previously Omnifocus) but most of that is now out of the window.
I started with plain markdown apps Drafts and tried to have meeting notes in Drafts, then a rolling document where I just jot down what’s going on. That quickly didn’t work because my private Drafts (even with the paid workspace feature) mixed with my work drafts. The amount of new notes became too high, it became messy and the rolling document didn’t scale.
Then I checked Notion. It’s the app I keep coming back to and try to find a usecase for but it’s web interface is a bit slow for my taste. It’s also a bit too easy to accidentally hide information or spend too much time messing with things instead of actually using it (had the same problem with Omnifocus). I liked that it gave me a bit of structure and aggregated things in one place, but in the end a quickfind feature in iA Writer or any other markdown editor gave me the same.
Now I am at Agenda and adjusted a bit. Instead of the rolling document I now have a weekly rolling document in my “weekly” project.
The idea that every meeting note is “on the agenda” first is a lifesaver because it forces me to go through each and every meeting note and process what has been said before I can remove the note from the agenda.
I copy and aggregate things into the weekly rolling document and that somewhat works. If an action action is needed I use my existing GTD flow and get it done through that. The “Pint to top” and “Pin to bottom” is exactly what I need to stay up to date, but the app has a lot of shortcomings, mainly the UI and lack of quick jump.
I also still fight with 1on1 meetings and staying on top of that. I have for each of my peers a shared rolling 1on1 google docs document in that we jot down whatever we discuss. It’s also being used for the peers to write down things they want to discuss, or for me to remember key points I want to bring up.
When I have something from other meetings or my rolling document that matters for a person, I copy it into the google docs document to not forget.
… and then I forget lol (until I open the document again, usually at the 1on1)
So yeah, in general any tips for a new manager that is struggling with the information load? What are some kickass information management apps I should take a look at to keep myself organized?