Personal Data Management

5/6/2012

As of late, I've been working on a couple of projects. The first of which was my utility library.  I went through Python and Ruby standard libraries (and Rails) for ideas to pull over. It was interesting to see where each item put its focus and trying to add something similar to C#. The other project that I've been working on was a mixture of CRM, invoicing, and a couple of other things aimed at a small law firm (tried a number of other 3rd party products but they couldn't find anything they liked so they wanted something custom). That I can't release, interesting to build but it's never going to see the light of day outside the one law firm. Anyway, the combination of the two has kept me from doing anything interesting that I can talk about...

However for the past week I've had some free time. When I have free time, I get bored. When I get bored, I start getting annoyed at something or other.  In this case, I've been annoyed at the fact that I have about 30 websites and apps that I routinely go to and use. In fact a much larger portion of my day than I would like is spent going to them in order to get things done.  Then there is the fact that my data is in 30 different locations (well actually about 20 different locations), none of which is talking to one another. So I figured I would try to fix it, so I started with requirements. Generally speaking my stuff can be divided into the following categories:

  1. Task manager (I'm a strong believer in checklists)
  2. Contact manager
  3. File manager
  4. Time tracker (in fact I like to keep track of a number of metrics for myself)
  5. Text editor/IDEs (Visual Studio, NotePad++, etc.)
  6. Formatted documents (Word), spreadsheets, etc. (basically work documents that need to be "pretty")
  7. Bug tracker
  8. Build server
  9. Source control
  10. Email
  11. Calendar
  12. Notes
  13. Photo editing/management
  14. RSS feeds
  15. Code documentation
  16. FTP
  17. Database management
  18. Entertainment (music, movies, games, comics)

There is probably more but that's what I could think of in a couple minutes this morning. So there are items like Zoho that can handle the tasks, contacts, etc. But they're really all separate apps. My data is in one location, but not what I would consider convenient. On top of that I can't really tie in any of my code stuff, the entertainment items, etc. Google has a number of these items but at present it's still 10 separate apps that I have to switch between, so better but not great. I even looked into some web based OSes (eyeOS, etc). Once again, not bad but it's still mostly a system where I have to switch between 20 or so apps that just run on the OS... So basically I couldn't find anything really and thus I've come to the conclusion that I need to build it.

I'm not sure if I'm going to open source the project completely because I'm not sure how helpful it would be to anyone other than myself.  That being said, I figured I would share my progress, give snippets of code, etc. Anything that might be of interest and code that could be useful. But for now I'm in the planning stage, so give me a week and I'll have more to share. Anyway, happy coding.



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