Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Waiting for/from someone else - so confused!

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Waiting for/from someone else - so confused!

    I have been using GTD for a couple of years and have the Outlook Add-in (which I love), but I am really confused when it comes to how to handle the following scenario.

    E-mail #1 comes in from someone asking me for something. I need to get that answer from someone else to whom I send an e-mail (#2) and am now waiting for the response back.

    Right now I am keeping e-mail #1 in my in box until I get the answer from person #2 back. Then I respond back to e-mail #1. I tried putting e-mail #1 in the waiting for bin with a reminder, but the reminder often pops up either too soon or too late before I have answer back from person #2.

    My mind isn't like water because I am always reminding myself - oh yeah I need to respond to person #1 as soon as I hear from person #2. Haven't heard from person #2 yet....so I wait and wait...

    This is driving me nuts! What do you do?

  • #2
    Waiting For Clarification

    I keep my email Inbox empty by using three email folders. The folders are labeled Action, Archive and Hold.

    Action are emails I need to respond to or things I need to research. Archive is for saved emails. Hold is for things like tracking numbers for packages or meeting agendas that I will need within 7 days but do not require action on my part.

    In your scenario I would drag Email #1 (from Person X) to the Action folder (thereby clearing your email Inbox). Then I would write, "Email Person X re: Research from Person Y" on my @Emails list. Finally, I would write "Waiting for email response from Person Y re: Answer for Person X" on my @Waiting For list. Simple as that!

    Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

    Comment


    • #3
      This helps!

      Where in Outlook do you keep these lists? Or are these handwritten lists?

      The lists part in Outlook has always confused me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SaddleSC View Post

        Then I would write, "Email Person X re: Research from Person Y" on my @Emails list.
        Finally, I would write "Waiting for email response from Person Y re: Answer for Person X" on my @Waiting For list. Simple as that!
        In the interests of only having actionable items on your NA lists, I believe you can only put on your @ WF list: Person Y - re answer for person x (and perhaps a reference that will help you find the original email from person x).

        Until you get that response - or followup with person y to get the response, you can't reply to person x. If you can't reply, it's not actionable - yet. If it's not actionable, it shouldn't be on your NA list. Otherwise, every time you scan the @Email list, you'll say to yourself - Oh, but I can't do that until . . . (And you'll have a mind like muddy water).

        Comment


        • #5
          First of all, if I expect the response from Person Y to take more than a day or so, I send Person X a note: "I need to check with Person Y on your query. I'll let you know the answer as soon as I can."

          Then, I decide what a reasonable followup interval with Person Y is, and put a note in my tickler for that day: "Followup with Person Y re: X's issue? Sent email 2/5/07." I'll also create a similar reminder to keep Person X in the loop, especially if Person Y turns out to be unresponsive.

          Finally, I either throw the original email away (if possible), or file it with the appropriate project support materials. Ditto my note to Person Y.

          This indecisive vagueness is why I avoid the @Waiting For context in favor of listing *my* next action.

          Katherine

          Comment


          • #6
            Handling dependencies like this

            I often have things like emails to reply to that I can't do until I hear back from someone else. I tend to get creative with my waiting for list on these, especially if it's not part of a project and I wouldn't easily see the trigger anywhere else. For example, I might have a waiting for to reply to Bob and let them know an answer to something. However, I need to check and hear back from Mary first before being able to do that. My waiting for list would have detailed information about that such as:

            Reply to Bob about Chicago client once I've heard back from Mary with budget figures

            I would store Bob's email in my Waiting For folder in my email program and my review of the Waiting For list or when Mary replies to me would trigger the action to Bob.

            If you're the kind of person who trusts using the email folder as the reminder, I would suggest editing the subject line of Bob's email to let you know what you're waiting on.

            I did a blog post about this too, in case this helps:
            http://www.davidco.com/blogs/kelly/a...e_wh.html#more

            Hope this helps.

            Kelly

            Comment


            • #7
              Let's get rid of the WaitngFor context!

              Originally posted by kewms View Post
              This indecisive vagueness is why I avoid the @Waiting For context in favor of listing *my* next action.
              I totally agree with you. WaitingFor context is a strange passive exception in the proactive, action-based GTD world. I also tend to specify my dated follow-up actions instead of storing non-actionable items on the WaitingFor list.

              Let's get rid of the WaitngFor context!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                I totally agree with you. WaitingFor context is a strange passive exception in the proactive, action-based GTD world. I also tend to specify my dated follow-up actions instead of storing non-actionable items on the WaitingFor list.

                Let's get rid of the WaitngFor context!
                Heh. I sure hope you're being sarcastic!

                For me, GTD is about getting stuff out of my head. If I have to wait for something, I put it on my Waiting For list and review it during my Weekly Review. I don't need to put in the effort of determining exactly when I need to check up with people. I know I'll check with them within seven days.

                Putting in that extra effort (adding a reminder to check back with people) is unnecessary, and thus to me goes against GTD.

                (Of course, that's just my GTD.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Couldn't agree more with Brent. A weekly check on the WF list is usually good enough to keep things moving along otherwise sometimes you feel as though you spend your life chasing others instead of getting thing done. In addition, when my energy levels are low I seek solace in the WF list and take pleasure in chasing other people!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Let's get rid of the WaitngFor context! - non-urgent WaitingFors degrade productivity

                    Originally posted by Brent
                    I sure hope you're being sarcastic!
                    Not necessarily.

                    Originally posted by Brent
                    If I have to wait for something, I put it on my Waiting For list and review it during my Weekly Review. I don't need to put in the effort of determining exactly when I need to check up with people. I know I'll check with them within seven days.
                    You are right if the urgency of all your WaitingFors is aproximately the same and you do not have to follow up before the Weekly Review. But in my case some WaitingFors have a "tomorrow" deadline and some have a "next month" deadline. If I put them all on one WaitingFor list I would have to review daily the whole list including the non-urgent items. It would be a waste of time experienced daily.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Suppose you have 50 things you are waiting for.
                      10 are physical things like mail orders, rebate checks, tax information.
                      40 are from individuals.
                      Items that are due on a specific date and require no follow up until that date can go into your tickler.
                      If the 40 items are from a small number of people, say 4-10, then you may be better off to put those items on agenda lists for those people.
                      If they're from nearly 40 separate people, you may want to have multiple waiting for lists, based on time. @WF Current Week, @WF February, @WF March, etc. If you have learned that you need to remind people of these deliverables, you may want to keep those on either an agenda list or have an action to remind the person (in addition to the @WF).
                      The ten physical things can either go on @WF lists, or if they are expected on a specific date can go in the tickler.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree that WF is a passive context. But if you put something in a Tickler you have no instument that allows you to check all that actions you're expecting from someone. For me, if I need an answer Tomorrow I put that to WF and to Tickler so I see what should be Tomorrow and have the whole picture of debts for the person. So I don't see any other ways to do that.

                        Regards,

                        Eugene.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
                          I agree that WF is a passive context. But if you put something in a Tickler you have no instument that allows you to check all that actions you're expecting from someone. For me, if I need an answer Tomorrow I put that to WF and to Tickler so I see what should be Tomorrow and have the whole picture of debts for the person. So I don't see any other ways to do that.
                          I use the project support materials or the person's contact record, as applicable.

                          Katherine

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                            But in my case some WaitingFors have a "tomorrow" deadline and some have a "next month" deadline. If I put them all on one WaitingFor list I would have to review daily the whole list including the non-urgent items. It would be a waste of time experienced daily.
                            If I have a waiting for with a specific deadline I would put a note on my calendar to chase. If it happens before the deadline all well & good I would get rid of the calender item if not them I would chase on the relevant date.

                            I also use Mindmanager for my lists so I can filter by date, context and person.

                            Pixlz
                            Last edited by pixlz; 02-07-2007, 10:10 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              WaitingFor not needed.

                              Originally posted by pixlz View Post
                              If I have a waiting for with a specific deadline I would put a note on my calendar to chase. If it happens before the deadline all well & good I would get rid of the calender item if not them I would chase on the relevant date.
                              So there is no need to use the WaitingFor list. Everything can go to your calendar as a follow up reminder. Why do you have to group all the WaitingFors on a yet another list?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X