If there’s one thing I’ve tried to make clear over the last few weeks, it’s that the Processing phase is about organizing and planning. There are three key activities in this phase: developing a mood or story board; organizing notes, links and other materials into contextual clusters; and making a concrete plan to guide the project’s development. You can approach these however you want. Do what makes the most sense for the project and your work style. But you’ll probably find yourself doing at least two of these for any given project.
In most cases, you can continue using the tools you were using in the Recording phase. Notes can still be organized using tools like Evernote. Bookmarks can go to social bookmarking tools like delicious, Pinboard,or Pinterest. In fact, Pinterest’s secret boards are a great place to gather ideas and collaborate with others without giving away what you’re up to.
If you choose to engage in public curation at this point in your project, most social media platforms offer some way to highlight and share posts, and some way to add some kind of context to what you’re highlighting or sharing. Tumblr is also a great place to share a variety of media.
What sets this phase apart is the planning activity. If you’re focused on learning a new skill through your project, then you might consider Learning Locker or the Pinterest-like curated playlist platform Learnist. If you just need to organize tasks, you might consider a to-do list manager like GQueues. (GQueues is kind of cool because you can add notes to tasks, create subtasks and repeating tasks pretty easily, and manage collaborative tasks. I’m a bit of a fan.)
However you choose to manage this part of your project, remember that these tools are going to be with you till the end of the project, serving as a guide and reference for your work. Pick tools that work for you, and then make them serve you.
Springpad, which I have noted as a viable tool in past posts, has announced they are shutting down on June 25, 2014.