Today, though, I think I've finally found a workflow which actually *works* for me, and means I can get on with things without distracting myself, and it's blindingly simple.
Those of you who use identi.ca will know that it has an XMPP (gtalk, for the uninitiated) feature, so you can send messages from your IM client, and receive notifications/whatnot there. Sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Well, it is. So my first step was to enable this, but this left me with a problem: I really don't want to have to duplicate everything through two seperate applications.
My first step to try fix this was to set up identi.ca to connect to twitter, and send all my notifications there, and while that part of things worked, it's severely lacking in other ways -- specifically, I can't pull my timeline and stuff into identi.ca, so I miss out on everything going on inside the twitterverse, which is to be honest, quite a lot - not optimal, so I undid this.
I decided I wasn't going to stick with using two applications, though, and kept reading - and finally found tweet.im, which means I can now use XMPP with twitter too. It means I have to copy and paste my updates, it means that I don't have a unified timeline, but hey. It works.
I hope this has been useful to someone.
[for those of you who use twitter, I'd strongly recommend identi.ca. they're a lot better, if not quite as popular/well known.]