You Know What I Need? A Todo List!

Kevin Ampuero | 2022-08-05T20:52:32.257Z

Summer is coming to an end for school kids and that means my deadline for updating my wife’s website is also fast approaching. I’ve been able to chip away at the website at my own pace, but with more features, bug fixes, and, oh yeah, a major codebase merge and restructuring, I needed a way to consolidate and prioritize my todo list.

This might be where I dip into the world of todo lists and personal organizer apps; Evernote, Notion, Bear, JetBrains Spaces. I’ve tried all of them at one time or another. Evernote still holds all of my recipes. Notion holds my early design and development ideas for the website, Bear has my random thoughts and notes to myself, and Spaces was my initial project management tool for the recent website update. But even with all of those tools, I just needed a simple todo list that lets me prioritize with custom tags and tie updates to code.

I remembered watching The Pudding’s YouTube channel when they were switching their site to Svelte. It was an amazing, transparent, and remarkably focused look at the hard work of updating an established site to a completely new technology. I was able to learn how to create Svelte sites (like this one!) and what issues I might run into along the way. The thoughtful debugging process was such a reassuring example of how everyone runs into issues with code and through methodical inspection, all of these issues can be addressed.

Another big takeaway from these videos was how they used GitHub Issues to maintain their tasks. I always thought about the Issues section as a place in your repo that belonged to the users. Somewhere that they would come to report bugs. Like a Helpdesk queue of sorts. And by that definition, my private repo just wouldn’t have any use for that section. After watching how quickly an issue could be created, with simple context and direction, then prioritized and moved on from, I knew that would be the way to go for my future projects.

The added bonus of this method of tracking tasks is that it gave me more familiarity with the Git command line, as well as with GitHub pull requests. Of course, it’s minimal in terms of my exposure to how things are actually done in Open Source, it is an area of comfortability now that I did not have before.

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