The Barely Functional Guide to Management

2 minute read

I’m brand new to the land of engineering management. In fact I’ve had the full title for less than three months at this point. Though, I’ve lead teams in the absence of managers and have been interim management for nearly a combined year prior to fully accepting the title. It’s definitely hard, but a couple tools help me stay sane in my day to day.

Meeting Bar

screenshot of example usage of meeting bar with the open drop down showing a number of meetings and at the top how much time until the next meeting

Meeting Bar is a nifty little widget that chills in your mac toolbar and keeps all of your meetings right at your fingertips. I had been using it before entering management to interrupt my coding flow and ensure I wasn’t missing meetings, but now as a full fledged manager it’s more important than ever to keep me on track with my meetings and no constantly behind.


Todoist showing a number of projects with tasks and a team section with additional tasks

As an engineer I liked in project trackers and GitHub issues to figure out what was in flight and where I needed to focus my time, but as a manager that was no longer an option. Tasks randomly come in via slack, meetings, or sometimes the rare email. I needed a way to keep track of all of these tasks as well as the regular weekly things I needed to do every week.

Enter Todoist where I can keep track of all of my tasks. Given them priorities, due dates, and the ability to recur. It has quickly become my source of truth for where I need to spend my energy on any given day.

I even keep it on my phone so if something comes up outside of work hours I can quickly jot it down and then forget about it until the next day.


Screenshot of Fantastical showing dark mode and items scheduled on the calendar

I mostly started using Fantastical because it integrates cleanly with Todoist. Though, it also is a bit more robust than the default mac calendar app. Being able to see everything in one place has really helped me manage my energy and figure out when I can take on more tasks and when I need to say no.


This last one I’m testing out and seeing how much a like it so I’m still a bit up in the air, but I’ve been using ReclaimAI to try to dynamically schedule 1:1 meetings with my team as well as schedule my lunch on my calendar.

But, it’s still definitely a work in progress and I’m still working on configuring it correctly, but I do appreciate that it can dynamically reschedule things.