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@action email folders vs tasks

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  • @action email folders vs tasks

    In David's article on managing email he suggests having an @action folder form actionable items that take longer than 2 minutes to keep them separate from reference items.

    Is there a reason to do this instead of creating a new task for the action and keeping it on the task list?

    I have started dragging the mail to tasks and making a task from the email. This keeps all my next actions in my tast list instead on split between the @action folder and the task list.

    Am I missing something here?

    Thanks

    Randy

  • #2
    @action email folders vs tasks

    I can't speak for others, but the only thing I put in my Outlook @Action folder are items that I need to add to my Tasks list, but don't have the time to do right away.

    At work I sync my tasks and memos to Palm Desktop, I'm not comfortable putting actions like "Send Resume to ..." on the company's Exchange server.

    At home, I do use Outlook's tasks and memos, so I just drag email's into the tasks or memos. One of my daily(ish) review items is to "clean up" action items dropped in from emails.

    Other than that, It think maintaining two @Action folders in different places contradicts the efficiency of GTD.

    I do keep an @Read\Reply folder in Outlook for items to which I don't have time to respond. It is a little redundant, since my @Computer list also contains "Email directions to ...", but it works for me.

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    • #3
      I use my email @Action folders to store messages that correspond with actions. The actions themselves are logged onto my context lists. This just provides a tidy place to store those emails until I finish the task and they are either deleted, or filed somewhere for reference.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the informatiion. It was all very helpful.

        rmc

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        • #5
          Change the subject of the e-mail

          What I do (following the 2-min rule,) is to change the subject on the email to make it easily relevant, save it, then drag it to @action or @reference; then process it during weekly review. So far this has worked for me.

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          • #6
            Re: @action email folders vs tasks

            Originally posted by RandyC
            In David's article on managing email he suggests having an @action folder form actionable items that take longer than 2 minutes to keep them separate from reference items.

            Is there a reason to do this instead of creating a new task for the action and keeping it on the task list?
            Well, if it works for you, it may be faster than manually putting the NA information on your list. However, I found it didn't work for me: that @action folder only got checked during my weekly review. I now put the NA on my list and file the email for reference. So, YMMV.

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            • #7
              I think his advice also addressed individuals who don't use Outlook for their tasks. I use the Palm software for my tasks, so I can't drag an e-mail into the task list like you can do in Outlook.

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              • #8
                Re: @action email folders vs tasks

                In David's article on managing email he suggests having an @action folder form actionable items that take longer than 2 minutes to keep them separate from reference items.

                We at DAC (the David Allen Company) use Lotus Notes for e-mail. As such, I can't drag an e-mail into my Palm Desktop next action system.

                So, I have three folders on the left hand side of my e-mail "view:"

                -Action Required [ any e-mail next action that will take +2 minutes]
                -Waiting for
                - Just Read [newsletters, copied and pasted web-sites I've sent myself, etc.]

                If you're using Outlook...just drag the e-mail to your task list!

                PS: Have you seen? http://www.davidco.com/productDetail...amp;IDoption=9

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                • #9
                  Re: @action email folders vs tasks

                  We also use Lotus Notes and have just upgraded to Release 5. This allows emails to be copied between an email item, to do or calendar item.

                  Using this facility I find it easy to put things I need to follow up on either in my calendar if they need to be actioned on a specific day or as a to do if they don't have a specific due date. Sorting To Do's by Category allows me to look at all of a particular group of items and action them as required.

                  Another topic discussed @WaitingFor and @Agenda. I found it difficult to utilize both for items with people I deal with regularly and ended up putting them all in @Agenda. That way when I meet with an individual I can just pull off the list and deal with them.

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                  • #10
                    David does what you do!

                    Just as a note (I haven't finished the forum yet), David recommends this for people who are desk-centric, and have a lot of eMail. Because he is more mobile, he does what you are doing, ie. he turns every actionable eMail into a task, which he then syncs with his Palm. This way he know where he is at, and work on responses when he is not at his desk.

                    Gordon

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