What is your Technical Project Management Workflow in DTPO?


I have read through these forums quite a bit, but haven’t yet found examples of DTPO workflows around a Technical project management type of role. I am not looking for a comprehensive project management tool (Omniplan does that for me when needed), but rather something much bigger than that wherein I can manage all (or most) aspects of my day job. Perhaps I am trying to fit a square peg into a round whole, but part of me feels there is a lot of value in using DTPO for what I do if I can just figure out the most appropriate way.

First a little history… I have been using DTPO for about a year now, primarily as my paperless office for my personal life. I use a scansnap scanner (ix500) and the import option for this and it really works great. However, when I tried to use it for my work as well I quickly moved away from it as some things just seemed clumsy to me for what I need to do. I was indexing and not importing, so perhaps that added to the clumsy feeling. I believe this to be a lack of user understanding rather than shortcoming in the software, which is the reason for my post.

Next a little about what I do… I am a healthcare technology consultant playing several different roles for various customers. My day to day tasks might include any of the following things: writing code, writing healthcare standards, writing work orders/completing RFPs, writing blog posts (and maybe a book one day…), and managing technical projects (including management and delivery of functional and technical documentation for a project, acting as solution architect and primary point of contact with the customer).

My goal with DTPO is to be able to operate in my work efficiently AND effectively, organizing my information for quick access now as well as later. I might be working on 5-6 projects at one time and am trying to minimize the cost of context switching, hopefully by using tools like DTPO (I am also a big Omnifocus user). Currently I have a folder structure in finder (pathfinder) that splits projects into Active, Incubation, and Vault folders. And I have shortcuts in my finder (pathfinder) left column to every active project. This is easy enough to replace in DTPO, and I could index, however I am concerned that things will get sticky when I get into the details of what I do on a day to day basis. Most of the examples in these forums is based around academic research. I am curious if anyone has workflows they can share that relate more to technical project management, as opposed to academic research. Below are a few scenarios to help illustrate what I am looking to manage.

1. Managing Documentation: I often need to keep several versions of a document as changes are made. eg. I will copy a document, and rename the file with that day’s date. this way I have a history of the document. I primarily do this as I will share the document with someone else, they will make their own changes at the same time and I will reconcile with mine later. I also have a need to copy versions of these documents into various fileshare mechanisms (eg. google drive or dropbox), or email them out to folks.

2. Writing Code: I need to be able to do things like unzip and zip files, download and store various configuration files for projects. I’m really interested in trying to keep all information for a project in the same folder/location. Obviously a full source code package would go somewhere like /Users/[me]/Src/ but various project artifacts that relate to that project should all be contained within one folder/location. This could include documentation as well.

3. Managing Meetings: I run a fair number of meetings, and need to take notes/minutes. Some of those items turn into actions that I will record in Omnifocus, some are mere notes documenting the conversation. So are action items for other people that do not go into Omnifocus, but are pulled into the next meeting on the same topic. Bottom line here is that meeting notes are a big part of my day job. I have been using nvAlt for these recently (plain text notes + markdown), using a nomenclature in the note title to identify which project a meeting note belongs to.

So there are my scenarios, and my petition for you to share your DTPO workflow for Technical Project Management related activities.

Thanks for any thoughts feedback!


Interested to see what others think.

I’m sure you know about these scripts built into DTPO: http://blog.devontechnologies.com/2009/06/thursday-tip-integrate-with-omnifocus/

Here are some good ideas for general setup of a database for projects: http://www.asianefficiency.com/technology/introduction-to-devonthink/

Here is an old example of some of the threads exploring the use of DTPO and OF side-by-side: http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=23950

I am a schoolteacher and use OF2 Pro and DTPO together with OmniOutliner. Those three apps are my chief tools and I am quite pleased with how well they can be built into a system of projects+tasks and reference material.

Thanks for the tips/thoughts Wart. Hoping to also see some more thoughts here as well… anyone else?