how i track ideas

How I Track Ideas

A technical breakdown of my idea tracking process


A fair warning, this is primarily a technical breakdown of how I track my ideas rather than a philosophical or methodological. I intend this to be the first of many architectural logs of projects that I build, to both demonstrate and track my progress as an engineer.

First off, the why

Why build yet another notes app when there are plenty of excellent options out there to choose from? Why build a public repository of ideas when twitter already has all the features I would need for ? Why spend the time building an easily reproduced widget?

The answer I have is threefold:

1. Flexibility

I want the ability to connect what I create to several different outlets, each of which will have their own protocols and interactions that is simply too difficult to do with the already established tools and platforms. Having the ability to connect to specific steps and trigger events will empower my creative process and, ultimately, promote a stronger digital identity.

2. Replication

I've worked on a handful of side projects and, without exception, each of them could have benefitted from a note to concept pipeline. As such, As such, having a single, replicable, or even productized service that could be applies generally would be a great tool in my developer toolbelt.

3. Because I wanna

I mean how cool would it be to have your own, custom idea manager that you made yourself? I've always wanted my own personal assistant to manage my ideas, but I can't afford a real one. So, I figured I could just build one!

A Pre-Production Solution

While large applications require far more forethought, a bespoke focused service of this size generally doesn't require much compute power, and, as such, can rely on a classical architecture. While naïve, this bare bones approach prevents feature creep by focusing on the highest leverage actions and allowing for less important work to go to a back log for latter reference. You can read more about my experience with this methodology in Stay Mean, Stay Lean.

So, what does it look like?