Hacking Codecks is a series of articles dedicated to helping you discover ways that you can use the toolset we give you in sometimes obvious, but often surprising ways.
For the inaugural in the series, I wanted to talk about card
Priority and how delightfully “hackable” it is.
Priority is one of the 4 key properties of a card. It’s a very standard yet elegant way to assign a relative priority to all your work-to-be-done. This enables you to, at any time, sort your cards into 4 “buckets” - or in our case, swimlanes (high, medium, low or none) allowing you to focus on any one of those buckets.
As an aside, it’s probably worth re-iterating that the process of assigning a relative priority is anything but static. You ought to be doing it at regular intervals, whenever planning activities happen in your routine. What was a high priority card last week relative to others may no longer be so this week due to changing circumstances.
So far, nothing new under the sun. However, there is one thing quite unique about
Priority: you can rename each of its values in your project settings (via the cog icon). We built that capability for 2 reasons.
The first one is that how you talk about priority is a bit of a cultural norm in organisations, and we wanted to give our customers the ability to keep using their own existing nomenclature. Some people like to talk about priority A, B and C. Or P1, P2 and P3. Or, well, pretty much anything you want.
As for the second reason, it’s a bit more subtle. One of the underlying philosophies of Codecks is that the best tool is not the one that tries to do everything (invariably becoming bloated). Rather, it is the one that does a few things really really well, but enables the more dedicated user to bend it to his will and achieve unexpected results… in other words, hack it.
By way of an example, imagine that you’re developing software for 3 platforms (PC, iOS, Android) and you’ve decided that differentiating cards on that basis is super important, far more than setting priorities. Now, sure, you could achieve that with project tags, but that still wouldn’t fully satisfy you because you really want the platform to stand out. Well, just hack it: change priorities to PC, iOS, Android and now you have a fully dedicated, very visible card property that handles it. It may not be super elegant given the property is still called
Priority, but it is called hacking for a reason :)
Admittedly we’ve only barely scratched the surface. Our ultimate goal is to give our customers ways to hack Codecks to their heart’s content. It’s a difficult balancing act, one that we hope we’ll be able to achieve with your input and suggestions. For example, we could also enable you to change the icons associated with each priority, and even rename the word
Priority to anything you want (with length constraints, obviously). In the above example, the property could be renamed to
Platform and each icon become really meaningful. If we get a lot of enthusiasm for this, it will happen :)
That’s it for our first installment, join me in a few weeks as we explore other ways to hack Codecks.