What's my workflow? 2017 edition

Five years ago I wrote about my workflow to keep up with turfgrass information. From 2012, Productivity 1: what's my workflow? and Productivity 2: my turfgrass information workflow

In the first part, I explained that I used

  • two notebooks
  • Google Reader
  • judicious use of Twitter
  • occasional use of Evernote
  • and one list of work to do.

Then in the second part I explained how I did it.

A lot of things have changed since then. I generally use just one notebook now, Google Reader doesn't exist anymore, I still use Twitter, I haven't used Evernote for years, and I still keep one list.


Here's what I'm doing in 2017.

I want to accomplish as much as possible, and I want to keep up with turfgrass information. I don't want to miss anything I should be aware of, and I also want to keep track of what I'm working on and keep that work moving forward.

I'm still using the Getting Things Done (GTD) approach.

1 list: On my computer, I keep a master list of all the projects I'm working on. Five years ago I was using OmniFocus for this. Now I use Org mode.

1 notebook: I keep a small notebook with me for ideas, calculations, and notes. I still have a large notebook that I use when necessary, but I often leave it at home. Then I transfer the notes from my notebook to the master list on my computer during my weekly review. I've been using small notebooks from LEUCHTTURM1917 for the past couple of years. I like them better than the Moleskine notebooks I had been using.

My phone: It's not easy to write or do my work with a phone. I use my phone for communication and a little bit of reading. I don't bother with Evernote anymore. I use the built-in notepad app to make a note if I have to, and if I don't have my notebook. Then, I transfer the note to my master list during my weekly review. No Facebook on my phone. Notifications from all apps pretty much turned off. No e-mail on my phone. Well, I can get to my e-mail if I have to, but through webmail, which is such a hassle that I won't check it unless it is an emergency. I have Twitter on my phone, and Buffer. If I have things I want to share on Twitter, I'll sometimes share immediately, and sometimes use Buffer to post them later. I get a lot of questions about things I've written about on my blog, and I figure that if one person has a question about something, others may also. So I sometimes set an old blog post to post sometime in the future using Buffer, when I have used that blog post to answer someone's question in a private conversation.

1 weekly review: Once a week, on Friday afternoons if I can, and otherwise at the next available opportunity, I review my notebook and phone, transferring any new tasks or projects into my master list. During the review I go through all my active projects and update what's been done and what my next actions are.

Twitter: This is still pretty much the same as I wrote in 2012:

"I make judicious use of Twitter. I'm able to share information about the articles I've written, or new information that I've made available for download, and I also find interesting articles and information from the people I follow. I don't read everything that comes through on the Twitter stream. There is no time for that."

What's different now? I use Tweetdeck on my computer, and Buffer on both my computer and phone. With Tweetdeck I can see the stream for a few hashtags -- among them #MLSN and #turfchat, and searches for zoysia and for paspalum. Then with Tweetdeck I can quickly see the latest tweets in those categories.


Feedly: I used Google Reader until it was killed, and now I use Feedly for RSS feeds. When websites update, it goes to Feedly. Then I can read the update at my leisure, or delete it. I don't have to go searching for information. The information comes to me, just like e-mail, and I can read it when I'm ready. Turf researchers find the TGIF feed of recently added articles especially useful. I don't have to remember to check any of the sites I follow. I don't have to check Twitter feeds or sign up for e-mail alerts to find when a new blog post is up. It all comes to Feedly.

Google Scholar alerts: I have a few Google Scholar alerts set up. For new citations of my articles, keywords like "turfgrass and potassium," some grass species, and new articles by a few other researchers. I then get a notification e-mail with a link to the articles as soon as Google Scholar adds them.

That's my workflow at present. And when I am working on my computer, I'm generally using RStudio. I wrote the MLSN paper in RStudio, make most of my presentation slides in RStudio, and do all data analyses in RStudio. I wrote this post in Emacs Markdown Mode. I write reports in Emacs LaTeX mode.

That reminds me, I should learn how to work with AUCTeX. I'll make a note.

The GP Avatar app

Turfgrass growth is affected by temperature. The temperature-based turfgrass growth potential (GP) is an easy way to look at how the actual temperature is related to the optimum temperatures for growth.

PACE Turf put together this GP avatar Shiny app to generate a simple plot of cool-season and warm-season grass GP.


There are two options with this app. One can automatically generate avatars for thousands of locations in the USA based on ZIP codes, or one can enter the temperatures for any location.


For more information about GP and how it can be used, see:


A Shiny app with adjustable rootzone characteristics and irrigation rules

I made this Shiny app that calculates the daily soil water balance.

The idea of the app is to change the soil conditions, specifically the rootzone depth and the field capacity, to see how changes in those parameters influence the irrigation requirement.

And the irrigation "rules" can be changed too. When will irrigation water be added? How much water will be added? What is the crop coefficient? What is the distribution uniformity of the irrigation system?

Then the soil conditions and the specific irrigation "rules" are matched to a year of weather data from a location, to see how any changes influence the amount of water required to satisfy the rules.


What do Hong Kong, Iceland, Mauritius, and Singapore have in common?

Visitors to the ATC blog in 2016 have come from 153 countries. Of course some countries have a big population, and lots of turfgrass, like the United States, so I would expect a lot of visits from there. Can I check which countries have relatively more or less visits than expected? Such a calculation is an indication of where this blog is unusually popular (or unpopular!).

To do that, I went to Google Analytics and downloaded the number of visits for the 30 countries that sent the most visitors to the site. This table shows them sorted by number of visits. I then made two calculations. One was to express the total visits in terms of each country's population. The second calculation was to express the total visits from each country in terms of the number of golf holes in that country.

The data are shown in this table, and you can click the column headers to sort by that column. The United States sent the most visits in total, Iceland had the most visits based on population, and Hong Kong had the most visits per golf hole.

After making these calculations, I plotted the ratios against each other. To spread the points out on the chart, I made the chart using the square root of each ratio. This shows how the 30 countries that sent the most visits are related to each other in terms of visits per population and visits per number of golf holes.


I was glad to see so many visits from all over the world this year, and to find which countries sent more visitors than expected based on population or number of golf courses. This could be good for marketing!

If you are reading this in Iceland, Ireland, Canada, Mauritius, or New Zealand, your country sent more visits to this site than expected based on population. And if you are reading this in Hong Kong, Singapore, Mauritius, the UAE, or the Philippines, your country sent more visits to this site than expected based on the number of golf holes in the country. Based on that, you might be interested in my book, A short grammar of greenkeeping.

Or, you might consider inviting me to your country for a turfgrass seminar. Since Mauritius is near the top on both of those lists, let's try to make that happen!

seashore paspalum at le touesserock

Shiny app shows the temperature and sunshine combination for 11 cities in Japan


I made a Shiny app with climatological normals data from the Japan Meteorological Agency to show the combination of sunshine and temperature at 11 locations.

@naturalgolf_D asked "What kind of situation is Japan?" With these data, I think it is interesting to compare different locations of interest, and a Shiny app is an easy way to do that.

Six more Shiny apps from ATC are here.

Six turfgrass Shiny apps

These Shiny applications make calculations related to turfgrass management.

Evapotranspiration (ET) calculator

Returns the reference and crop evapotranspiration for a day given inputs of latitude, maximum and minimum air temperatures, and crop coefficient. Based on the Hargreaves equation.

Sustainability index

Returns the sustainability index (SI) based on soil test inputs. This is a direct comparison of input soil test results to the MLSN data.


PPFD by time, date, and location

Returns the expected photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) for a second within any specified minute, given inputs of latitude, longitude, date, and time. Also returns expected daily light integral (DLI) at that location if it is sunny all day.

MLSN K fertilizer calculator

Calculates the fertilizer K requirement given inputs of grass species, soil test K, and annual N rate.

ET(蒸発散値: 標準 ETと特定作物 ET)計算機

このプログラムは、標準蒸発散値(ETo) を、年月日、緯度、その日の最高気温と最低気温を基にしてmm 単位で計算します。算出された ETo に、作物係数を乗算すると、 その作物の蒸発散値(ETc)が求められます。これらの計算はHargreaves の ETo

MLSN ガイドラインからK要求量を求める

ここでの計算は、持続可能な最低栄養 (MLSNガイドライン) をベースとしています。

Top 10 posts on the blog in 2015

These are the 10 blog posts in 2015 with the most pageviews.

  1. 2 similar approaches to fertilization, with 1 notable difference
  2. "As clear as mud"
  3. Silica and green speed
  4. "Beware! These topics are misleading and irrelevant"
  5. Two short articles on simplifying fertilization and soil test interpretation
  6. How windy was it in St. Andrews yesterday?
  7. "No more than one third of the total leaf surface ...
  8. Course maintenance photos from the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay
  9. Concerning the availability of nutrients in soil
  10. Seminar questions: availability (again) and foliar applications in the context of soil guidelines