So, as part of my job I enjoy a review process and part of that is an HR form of dubious use. My manager on the other hand goes beyond the form in his review of my performance. Well, I’m also a manager and like to go beyond the HR form and so I started thinking about how I can understand my efforts during the course of the year. I use RescueTime to help me understand how I spend my time during the day. I’m not required to do this, but I like knowing how I spend my time in a more granular fashion and so I started looking a little more broadly. Since I work almost completely from at home, I find it important to share with my manager some of the highlights of my day. So I send him a daily email entitled “remote accomplishments”. That email is based on what I scribble away in an ongoing fashion in a FreeMind mind map. So I dumped all of the date for the year from the mindmap to a text file and ran it through a little script, which breaks the exported text to one word per line and filters it through a common stop word list. After that there is some more sorting going on. At the end I end up with a list of words that I can feed to Wordle and I end up with the following image.
Now, this all means something to me, and likely not many others, but if I added that I am responsible for FAST search engines and involved with a large project lovingly named MELT it might make more sense. After speaking with a friend about this and his attempts at something similar it does seem like my approach feels more useful because it is my own data, my own words, which brings with it a lot more consistency and meaning Another thing I did was to pull certain things together. For example some of the server names will always be part of FAST or certain words are always in reference to MELT . Those I combined by treating them as acronyms and simply replacing with the other word. I think there is more that can be done, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and the thoughts it’s kicking up.