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Researching a quicker way to manage the emails during the weekly review

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  • Researching a quicker way to manage the emails during the weekly review

    During my second weekly review -what a sense of quiet begin to influence! - I had some trouble in managing the several emails:I try to explain better to receive, if possible, the best suggestions.

    I had about 70 emails in Inbox, so I started to read them and move in @action @waiting for. For several of them in less than 2 minutes was possible to answer. So, to clean my inbox I move in the folders I prepared: 1 - Efficacy of the member of the staff (and each of them has its own folder), 2 - Finance ( I mean plan, P&L, dashboards, results) 3-Customers 4- Stuff to support sales (Gears of selling) 5-Internal communication ( each of my main colleagues has a folder) 6 -External communication 7-Products: characteristics and around 8 - Personal.

    So I had a big movement of emails between the folders and as the folders are several also the dedicated button on the bar that move a task in a folder -keeping the last ten in the memory - could not help me to be faster.

    And then again it happened with the @waiting for folder and @action

    At the end I spent at least 3 hours for the weekly review, including some work-distribution of the first stuff you have to collect and to put in your reference cardex.

    What do you think of my personal implementation? Where do you see the main improvements I need to adopt? ....please not too many. Do not assault my self-respect!

  • #2
    Couple tips come to mind:

    I am not clear if you pulled the actions off the emails before filing them into the appropriate folder. This may be part of the issue. Instead of just sorting through the emails, you need to be sure they do not have a lingering next action hidden within them. Instead of just putting them in a folder, read them carefully and pull the actions out of each and add them to your GTD system.

    Second, I don't think you need that many folders for your Reference (saved for information purposes) emails. You could simply have a "Staff" folder and put all employees/co-workers reference emails in there OR, even better in my opinion, DO NOT have a folder for each person but instead for each Project you are working on OR for each Topic of Reference, etc.

    I suggest this because you can always use your email program's search tool to bring up all emails from a certain person. It is not as easy to bring up all emails associated with a certain Project you are working on (unless you change the subject line).

    If you are using a Mac computer with Mail.. you can create Smart Folders for incoming emails that automatically sort your email according to your pre-determined needs.

    Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
    Darla

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you didn't do a Weekly Review.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brent View Post
        I think you didn't do a Weekly Review.
        I must agree, here. I may have misuderstood something here but this all sounds like stuff you should be doing daily during Inbox processing. The guess here is that those 70 emails will go down to 10-15.

        Tom S.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Researching a Quicker Way....

          Claudio,
          To echo what other's have said, Inbox processing should not be part of your weekly review, its something that should be going on all the time. That being said, its normal to regularly find your Inbox a little backed up. Instead of waiting for your Weekly Review to tackle it, make a point to set aside some time every day to get it down to zero. I usually find the end of the day a good time for me (or first thing next morning if I gotta be somewhere).

          There was a tele-seminar about the Weekly Review recently, and the presenter (I believe it was Meg) said if you have more than about 10 minutes of Inbox backlog, then you should knock that out before you start the actual Review.

          Ideally, you should get it down to zero at least once a day. The trick is to get real good at processing the email the first time you touch it. Read the email, and ask yourself two questions:
          1. Is it actionable or not? (if not then delete it, file it or tickler it)
          2. If is an actionable message, then pick one of these three: DO it (if less than 2 minutes), DELEGATE it (and put it on your Waiting For list), or DEFER it (put it on the appropriate Next Action list).

          There's a good flowchart illustrating this process here on the DavidCo site. I printed it out and have it taped next to my monitor to help remind me what I "should" be doing. Maybe this will help you out, too?

          Its not that easy practicing these behaviors 100% of the time, but doing so really is key to effectively implementing GTD.

          Good luck,
          Bob O'Malley

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
            Couple tips come to mind:

            I am not clear if you pulled the actions off the emails before filing them into the appropriate folder. This may be part of the issue. Instead of just sorting through the emails, you need to be sure they do not have a lingering next action hidden within them. Instead of just putting them in a folder, read them carefully and pull the actions out of each and add them to your GTD system.
            This is clear to me,however thank you for you effort
            Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
            Second, I don't think you need that many folders for your Reference (saved for information purposes) emails. You could simply have a "Staff" folder and put all employees/co-workers reference emails in there OR, even better in my opinion, DO NOT have a folder for each person but instead for each Project you are working on OR for each Topic of Reference, etc.

            I suggest this because you can always use your email program's search tool to bring up all emails from a certain person. It is not as easy to bring up all emails associated with a certain Project you are working on (unless you change the subject line).
            These are very good things for me. Above all the idea to group by project more than person. So the next action for me is identify which are the groupable projects

            Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
            If you are using a Mac computer with Mail.. you can create Smart Folders for incoming emails that automatically sort your email according to your pre-determined needs.

            Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
            Darla
            I think also it's a problem of expertise. Up to now in my life I used a management style top-down; now I'm moving to a bottom-up system. Then, I have also paper support because I didn't introduce a pda organizer.
            Anyway I think I have to be rigorous.
            I'll keep in touch!
            Last edited by clango; 01-14-2007, 08:33 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by omalley73 View Post
              Claudio,
              To echo what other's have said, Inbox processing should not be part of your weekly review, its something that should be going on all the time. That being said, its normal to regularly find your Inbox a little backed up. Instead of waiting for your Weekly Review to tackle it, make a point to set aside some time every day to get it down to zero. I usually find the end of the day a good time for me (or first thing next morning if I gotta be somewhere).

              There was a tele-seminar about the Weekly Review recently, and the presenter (I believe it was Meg) said if you have more than about 10 minutes of Inbox backlog, then you should knock that out before you start the actual Review.

              Ideally, you should get it down to zero at least once a day. The trick is to get real good at processing the email the first time you touch it. Read the email, and ask yourself two questions:
              1. Is it actionable or not? (if not then delete it, file it or tickler it)
              2. If is an actionable message, then pick one of these three: DO it (if less than 2 minutes), DELEGATE it (and put it on your Waiting For list), or DEFER it (put it on the appropriate Next Action list).
              Dear Bob,
              may be this is my hot button of the second weekly review! During the week I procastinated till friday -the weekly review day I choose- to work the emails. I have to introduce in my applied system the first choiceO it , DELEGATE it, or DEFER it.

              I found the flowchart on internet and I translated also it in italian.

              If then add the other suggestions of Darla, I can approach my third weekly review more strong.
              Thank you my friends. May I one day help others like you? To tell you the truth, yesterday after a dinner with friend I showed what I was able to realize up to now and this my friend -a professional- seemed to be excited to the idea!


              Originally posted by omalley73 View Post
              There's a good flowchart illustrating this process here on the DavidCo site. I printed it out and have it taped next to my monitor to help remind me what I "should" be doing. Maybe this will help you out, too?

              Its not that easy practicing these behaviors 100% of the time, but doing so really is key to effectively implementing GTD.

              Good luck,
              Bob O'Malley

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by clango View Post
                Thank you my friends. May I one day help others like you? To tell you the truth, yesterday after a dinner with friend I showed what I was able to realize up to now and this my friend -a professional- seemed to be excited to the idea!
                Nice to hear you're enthusiastic about it all again, and good luck with your third review. And good that your friend is excited, too: maybe if he starts using GTD, the two of you can keep each other enthusiastic.

                That's one of the good things about the forum, I think: that we can connect with others who might be in the same situation, or who might have already gone through it and have some good ideas. And it's nice just to connect with people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  "DEL" is there for a reason

                  I was spending about 80% of my inbox processing time filing either non-actionable e-mails. I decided a while back to change this and now I keep all of my incoming mail in an off-line folder. (I have a rule that copies every incoming e-mail into the off-line folder.)

                  Now if an e-mail is not actionable I simply hit delete. If I need it later I know I have a copy that I can find in the off-line folder. With the search tools available it's reasonably easy to find anything in the off-line folder. I keep everything in a single folder so there is only one place to look. If I need to I can search by sender, date, subject, keyword, etc. I can usually find what I'm looking for in a minute or less in the archive.

                  The big benefit was that I cut my inbox processing time down considerably since I was no longer filing non-actionable e-mail. I've easily reduced my processing time by 2/3 or more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by darlakbrown View Post
                    Couple tips come to mind:

                    I am not clear if you pulled the actions off the emails before filing them into the appropriate folder. This may be part of the issue. Instead of just sorting through the emails, you need to be sure they do not have a lingering next action hidden within them. Instead of just putting them in a folder, read them carefully and pull the actions out of each and add them to your GTD system.

                    Second, I don't think you need that many folders for your Reference (saved for information purposes) emails. You could simply have a "Staff" folder and put all employees/co-workers reference emails in there OR, even better in my opinion, DO NOT have a folder for each person but instead for each Project you are working on OR for each Topic of Reference, etc.

                    I suggest this because you can always use your email program's search tool to bring up all emails from a certain person. It is not as easy to bring up all emails associated with a certain Project you are working on (unless you change the subject line).

                    If you are using a Mac computer with Mail.. you can create Smart Folders for incoming emails that automatically sort your email according to your pre-determined needs.

                    Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
                    Darla

                    I already cleaned the sub-folders for each main folder. So now it's a flash move the emails in the reference folders. Thank you Darla for the idea. Then I saw you can easily group them by name of the sender for example.

                    I'm little worried to group by project because I worry to meet again the same difficulty I wrote about.

                    So thank you Darla!

                    Comment

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