If you look at the FAQ for Money, Gaming, or English SE, they have a basic (but effective) format for describing the scope of the site. If you want to help define the basic tenets of this site, I'll put together a preliminary FAQ.

The basic format of the FAQ will look like this:

The Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is for [description]. If you have a question about …

  • [on topic]
  • [on topic] (These are the topics you feel are ideal for this site)

and its not about

  • [off topic]
  • [off topic] (These are the topics that will LIKELY be asked, but should be considered off-topic, nonetheless)

… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!

Here's what I need —

Please post *ONE* [on topic] OR [off topic] OR [description] suggestion per post (multiple posts allowed).

Then up-vote the entries you would like to see in the FAQ. Down-vote those you vehemently disagree with. If you don't find an entry useful or interesting, just leave it alone.

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Seeded with the top 3 of each from area 51 along with two not from area 51. –  Jeanne Boyarsky Jun 28 '11 at 1:20
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@Jeanne Boyarsky: Thank you for your entries but I had to remove them. We're not looking for example questions. We're looking for what subjects are on and off topic. Take a look at the bullet points in this faq for examples. –  Robert Cartaino Jun 28 '11 at 14:55
    
Sorry. Misinterpreted the point of the thread. Thanks for cleaning up after me. –  Jeanne Boyarsky Jun 30 '11 at 1:46
    
    
@Shady: This question is just for a draft FAQ, to prevent too much off-topic question when the activity increases. I think we can simply start off the draft FAQ and iron it out more in your question... –  Tom Wijsman Jul 3 '11 at 3:20
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@RobertCartaino: Can you look into publishing a first-draft FAQ? –  Tom Wijsman Nov 20 '11 at 14:03

8 Answers 8

[On topic]

Achieving a productivity workflow, using techniques like GTD, Covey, Pomodoro, ...

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[On topic]

Fighting procrastination by getting energetic and motivated.

Side note (not to be included in FAQ): This covers sleeping as well.

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[Off topic]

Physical fitness and nutrition, ask on Fitness & Nutrition.

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[Off topic]

Problems related to software and automation scripts themselves and not to their application to personal productivity, ask on SuperUser for computer software and Web Applications for online web applications.

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@Tom agree we should combine. I can't edit yours so go for it (then I'll delete this), and automation/scripts would probably work. Get the most number of people understanding it that way. –  Adam Wuerl Jul 8 '11 at 22:53
    
Done it the other way around. :) –  Tom Wijsman Jul 9 '11 at 1:40
    
example like "How to do <someting> in <software name>" is off topic right? –  Phelios Jul 15 '11 at 9:22
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@Phelios I think it depends on if the "something" you're asking about is more related to personal productivity or to the app itself. And some webapps/software, especially those designed specifically for personal productivity, are more likely to find expert users on this site than the others. For example: a question about how to setup an use tags in RTM or Omnifocus belongs here, a question about why your code isn't interfacing with the API correctly, or why a webapp isn't rendering correctly in your installation of IE4 probably belongs on another site. –  Adam Wuerl Jul 15 '11 at 13:54

[On topic]

Questions about effective sleep habits and the entire sleep-wake transition.

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[On Topic] Ergonomics

This was discussed already in the meta question Ergonomics on or off topic? Resulting in the following answer:

While at first glance, ergonomics seems like it would belong on Fitness and Nutrition, because it's related to health, and treating your muscles well, I would like to suggest that it be specifically included as on-topic here on Productivity, because it is my experience that an expert in productivity is likely to be more informed about ergonomics of office equipment and the like than a fitness expert (such as a personal trainer, coach, etc.).

I tend to think of SE sites not just as topic groupings (we could have done that with tags on one site -- that's not why we have separate sites) -- they are communities of experts. When deciding on-topic-ness of edge cases, I always ask myself "Which group of experts has the most expertise in this?" When it comes to ergonomics, I think the answer is "productivity experts".

TLDR;
If I asked the fitness expert in my life how to deal with computer work aggravating my RSI, he'd tell me to get off the @#$% computer. If I asked the productivity expert in my life, she'd suggest a buckling-spring keyboard, changing the height of my desk, and possibly taking some B6 supplements. The latter is clearly more helpful, so we should welcome ergonomics questions here.

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[On topic]

Questions about workflow: how to combine and transition between using applications, web apps, and physical media, and the associated best practices and habits that increase personal productivity by streamlining the steps or sequence of operations used to perform a task.

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[On topic]

Questions about learning, memory and creativity.

Note that creativity means general methods of problem-solving and brainstorming, whereas specific creative skills such as designing, musicianship and programming are off-topic.

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