I love public accountability platforms for makers. WiP, Product Hunt Makers, Makerlog … you name it. Lots of open todos tools exist, and these days many are popping up.
The problem is that most contributors do not know how to write tasks in a way that can really benefit them and the people reading.
I like to watch @Booligoosh tasks on Makerlog once in a while, because they are actually written in a compelling way. Here are a few key points to write great task entries:
1) The task mentions the bigger picture
If you do not mention where the task fits in your project or in your overall goal, it becomes harder to identify with it. Start with a hashtag or a short title to quickly allow others to grasp the context.
2) The task is clear
If you do not manage to write down your task in a simple sentence understandable by any 10-year-old, you should rewrite it. Acronyms should be avoided in the description as well.
A good way to do it is to format your tasks in the form of custom user stories.
3) The tone is diversified
Diversify your tasks. Make some of them technical, some others more inspirational. Tasks don’t have to be boring, they can be both powerful and inspirational. Celebrate your wins and failures within your task descriptions.
4) The task is illustrated
Use emojis. Use pictures as well if you can. Both will make your entries stand out from the crowd.
5) Always. Be. Accountable.
If you write down a cool task, complete it, and I feel inspired by it, I had like to see the result. Use links and/or comments for that.
6) The contributor chose the right atomicity
Do not over-write. Do not under-write either. Find the right scope for your goal or project. The last thing I want to read is a list of 100+ items telling me how you drank water after pressing the O key. Similarly, under-writing will make me less likely to follow your journey as it lacks transparency - which is not what you want from a public accountability platform.
Finally, I want to say that task definition is hard. It takes time and effort.
It will never be perfect - I suck at it too most of the time - but you have to strive to become a better writer. The benefits are gigantic. Inspired people enjoy inspiring ones. Only by collaborating successfully with others can you succeed.