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  • Empty inbox but keep mails for replying

    Hi there!

    For my work I'm trying to move from a one-monitor-inbox zu an inbox with zero items per GTD. I'm using Outlook 2007 and keep all my GTD-lists in tasks. My job is software developer, I regularly get bug reports or todos per mail.

    Before reading and implementing GTD I kept my inbox at approximately one monitor length and used this as a sort of todo-list. Now cleaning my inbox zu zero and process the contents via Next-Action-Lists is just as fine, but has one major drawback for me - creating a task from an email prevents me to answer the original mail effectively, simply because I can't "reply to" an Outlook task.

    How do you organize this? Create tasks for all tasks and have additional folders for the GTD categories as subfolders of your inbox? For me this is kind of cumbersome, because then I do not have ONE task list, but many. Is there a nice and easy working example out there which works in Outlook out-of-the-box?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  • #2
    I can't give you concrete Outlook instructions but hopefully this will be of some help and the implementation will be left up to you. I use GMail where tagging emails with multiple things (status, project, context, etc.) is easy. You might need to check out some of the Outlook GTD plug-ins available.

    I think the main problem is that you're creating actual Outlook TASKS. Leave the emails as emails.

    If replying takes 2 minutes or less, do it. If not and the conversation is part of a project, replying is an @action (or @next-action) with context @computer and should just be filed in an appropriate Outlook folder (either the project in question or @next-actions) and somehow flagged with the context.

    If the conversation is not part of a project, you could file in a read/review folder.

    The trick as I see it, dealing with Outlook and the folder paradigm, is how to notate status, project, and context.

    Comment


    • #3
      Chris,

      In Outlook, if you right-click and drag an email message to the Tasks button in the bottom left corner of the screen, a small menu pops up. When you choose the option "Copy here as task with attachment" from this menu, a new task is created that embeds the email message (visible as an icon in the task text field). You can re-open the email from inside the task by double-clicking the icon.

      I find this feature so useful that I switched to Outlook because of it.

      Hope this helps,
      Serge

      Comment


      • #4
        Outlook Linker

        I'm using MyLifeOrganized for managing my projects and next actions. I'm using Outlook for emails and calendar only.

        The way I'm linking between project/next actions and relevant emails requiring my attention (reading/reviewing/responding) is by placing the emails related to active projects in a dedicated folder called @TempRef.

        I then use Outlook Linker (http://www.teamscope.com/otherpro/utilities.asp#linker) - a free little application that allows you to create external links to Outlook objects (such as emails) that you could paste anywhere. In my case - I paste them in the notes of a project/NA in MyLifeOrganized.

        In my weekly review I purge the @TempRef folder from non-relevant emails - I either delete them or file them away.

        I hope this helps,
        Oren.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm an Outlook user as well (Outlook 2007), and I agree with Serge. In addition to the right-click and drag method that he cites below, it's also pretty easy to configure the toolbar to enable that same move with keystrokes. Detailed instructions are in a good article on Lifehacker:
          http://www.lifehacker.com.au/tips/20..._faster-2.html

          See the section on "Configure Move and Copy toolbar shortcuts."

          Hope this helps!

          Mike


          Originally posted by serge View Post
          Chris,

          In Outlook, if you right-click and drag an email message to the Tasks button in the bottom left corner of the screen, a small menu pops up. When you choose the option "Copy here as task with attachment" from this menu, a new task is created that embeds the email message (visible as an icon in the task text field). You can re-open the email from inside the task by double-clicking the icon.

          I find this feature so useful that I switched to Outlook because of it.

          Hope this helps,
          Serge

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mflanagan View Post
            ... it's also pretty easy to configure the toolbar to enable that same move with keystrokes. Detailed instructions are in a good article on Lifehacker:
            http://www.lifehacker.com.au/tips/20..._faster-2.html

            See the section on "Configure Move and Copy toolbar shortcuts."

            Hope this helps!

            Mike
            Mike, this is a really good trick, I didn't know it was possible. Thanks a lot for sharing.
            Serge

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by serge View Post
              Chris,

              In Outlook, if you right-click and drag an email message to the Tasks button in the bottom left corner of the screen, a small menu pops up. When you choose the option "Copy here as task with attachment" from this menu, a new task is created that embeds the email message (visible as an icon in the task text field). You can re-open the email from inside the task by double-clicking the icon.

              I find this feature so useful that I switched to Outlook because of it.

              Hope this helps,
              Serge

              oh nice! I never knew that before. Thank you Serge

              Ruth

              Comment

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