A civic-minded citizen seeking the singularity

An entry

Personal Heads-up Display

Series: On Work
Date: 2016-11-29
Status: release
Tags: quantified-self gtd heads-up-display
This Entry is part of the Series On Work.

I often resort to dashboards and to-do lists to offload memory work from my brain, and rather work on processing information in a certain domain.

Virtual Reality displays like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and holographic displays like Microsoft's Hololens are gaining popularity for gamers. I think Personal Productivity will be transformed via these tools as well.

Basic psychology explores the notion of limited working memory, and having the ability to have information displayed, in line of sight within an applicable context, seems powerfully enabling.

Specifically, I'd like to encode my personal workflow habits and be able to opt into a GTD-like Processing mode. To this end, I maintain a personal dashboard that provides me visibility into my personal workflow.


Work Tools
  • How many emails are in my Inbox? per state (respond to, awaiting response, draft, starred)
  • How many Projects am I working on?
  • How many Tasks am I committed to?
  • How much time does that actually represent? What is my time commitment?
  • What is on my Calendar/Agenda?
  • Tasks scheduled for today?


Processing Work Tasks on a Computer. 2017.
  • Prior to approaching a Task, I need to recognize what state I am in.
    • Am I in work mode?
    • Am I in relax mode?
    • Are there multiple levels of modes, or states? Like, active | inactive, plus more detailed verbs describing the Activity at hand?

So, I decided to sit down (implicitly setting my Location to at desk)

  • Given any given Task open on my computer.

    • Identify the Task at hand.
    • For that Task, identify what Goal Stream is it related to?
    • A Goal Stream is a set of ordered and concurrent Tasks resulting in a Goal, or Outcome.
  • I track my Goals on Trello Cards.

    • The Goal Stream is, conventionally, a Checklist on that Trello card

  • What books am I currently reading?
  • Am I working on any drafts or projects that are somehow not in my to-do lists?
  • What notes do I have to be processed?

Most importantly, a heads-up could display contextual knowledge to a task at hand. When picking up a mockup for a digital product, I might see related bugs to that specific page, or feedback about the layout.

When reading a note, a heads-up display could digitize it immediately, and the text could be sent to a Trello card.

Projecting the structure and states of a workflows could enable powerful mechanical turking at human-scale.