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Managing Someday-Maybe Projects with a CLI

I have a problem managing projects I'm interested in but don't have time for. For example, the CLI for generating slack alerts I posted about last year. Not really a priority, but helpful and not that complicated. I sat on that project for about a year before I could finally execute on it.

I want to be able to keep track of these projects for inspiration, but my TODO list get's overwhelming if I try to include all of these low-priority projects. Getting Things Done suggests keeping a "Someday-Maybe (SDMB)" folder that you review regularly. I tried this, but even the SDMB list gets unweildy so I dread reviewing it.

I think I have a handle on it now, though 1. I started a directory at ~/sdmb with markdown files for each SDMB project. This is nice for two reasons:

  1. It doesn't clog up your task list with un-actionable tasks
  2. You can review a list of SDMB projects without reviewing all of the associated TODOs. The project list should be much shorter and I can usually tell what's interesting by reviewing the project names. I don't need to know the next action.

Here's a bash snippet to make this feel natural. It creates a new command sdmb that either lists all projects in the SDMB folder or opens a given SDMB project file (with auto-complete!).

I recommend reviewing the list of projects monthly. If any projects look interesting, review that project's notes and pull out a couple of TODOs.

Here's the snippet:


_list_sdmb_projects () {
    ls -1 $dir | cut -f 1 -d '.'

sdmb () {
    if [ $# -eq 0 ]
        # If no arguement provided, list available projects
        # Edit given project
        local id="$1"
        local file="$dir/$"

        vim "$file"

# Bash auto-complete
    local cur=${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]}
    COMPREPLY=( $(compgen -W "$(_list_sdmb_projects)" -- $cur ))

complete -F _sdmbComplete sdmb

1: Thanks to Tom's great post here for inspiration:

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