this is completely unrelated to Beeminder (and sorry if not suitable here), but I figured that this forum is full of productivity nerds who might be able to help.
What I need (actually, what the company I work for needs) is a way to help with complicated processes. I imagine a kind of interactive checklist which would tell us what actions to perform, record who and when performed what etc. The problem is that the process cannot be easily automated (which would of course be ideal, but it’s not attainable, at least not without considerable effort we cannot afford right now), and the process needs things like “if X hours after performing action A, third party Z did not react/reply/etc., issue a reminder to ping them”.
Does anyone know a tool which could help us?
Maybe Trello? Cards can have checklists, cards can be used as templates, each card keeps a detailed history of who did what, it has some automation tools built in, plus an integration marketplace and API.
Thanks, that’s pretty interesting! I tried it out, and it seems that it’s not the best fit for us, but it’s definitely close. (The problem is, Trello’s “rules” – while really impressive – still seem a bit too simplistic. Also, the scalability looks bad – what if we need 20-30 items on the checklist, and they may be longer than one line…?)
Are you looking for an out-of-the-box solution? Or is this a situation where some of your requirements could be met via an API?
Notion is fantastic for collaborating on rich documents. Templates and databases make it very powerful, and if you’re on a pro plan you get document history. But I don’t think there’s much in the way of built-in automation, so you’d probably have to do that using their API. Notion’s biggest strength is also it’s biggest weakness–it’s incredibly flexible.
Frankly, I’m prepared to write a simple tool for that myself. But I asked because this seems a pretty common problem, and it’s difficult for me to believe that nothing like this exists…
But yes, API is fine – we can write a simple wrapper then (maybe even a CLI one). But we would probably have slight preference for an open-source solution we can host ourselves.
I have seen software like this in the enterprise arena. I’m not sure if I can dig them up from the old intra-ear meat, but if it comes to me today I’ll update!
Airtable + Zapier, maybe?
You could potentially build the info collection structure you want in Airtable and then use Zapier to send out notifications (or enter things into Airtable).