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Newbie - What to do with outbox

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  • Newbie - What to do with outbox

    Just finished the GTD book and want to start using the sysytem with Outlook. There is a lot of talk about the Inbox (mine is out of control). But what is the recommended use of the Outbox? How do you control all the messgae there?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I don't use Outlook, but isn't the Outlook Outbox just a folder where all your sent messages are saved?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Brent View Post
      I don't use Outlook, but isn't the Outlook Outbox just a folder where all your sent messages are saved?
      Yes, but what is the best way to control all the messages that get there?One of the aims of GTD is to have an empty Inbox. I haven't seen any discussion on the Outbox. Short of manually deleting/saving/moving, what do people do to keep their Outbox empty?

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      • #4
        Why do you care if your Outbox is empty? It's a reference file, not something that should contain anything actionable.

        If you do care, you can create Outlook rules for it the same as any other folder. With rules you can save all sent messages, save only messages to particular people, or whatever you prefer.

        Katherine

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        • #5
          For outgoing e-mails that I need to keep I either print a paper copy and file it in the relevant reference file or project support materials, or transfer it to @waiting for if that's what's needed.

          I tend to leave everything else in the sent box for about a week just in case I need to refer back to it, and then once a week I delete the lot.

          Ruth

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          • #6
            Yeah, I don't see why you'd care if your outbox is full.

            Your outbox is a record of what you've told other people. Presumably, your outgoing actions result from the Projects and Actions you've had.

            Are you worried that you're sending out emails that aren't tied to a Project? That you have un-accounted-for Projects hanging out there that are captured in your Outbox but not in your Projects list?

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            • #7
              Outbox to PST

              I move my Outlook outbox contents to a PST (offline folder) to reduce the Exchange (online) storage requirements.

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              • #8
                Outlook Outbox

                If you want to keep the emails you send then they become either

                a) project support material, so create an email folder for each project and file them there, or they become

                b) personal reference material - so create an A-Z folder structure in Outlook and file them there.

                Some people combine the A-Z structure and the Project Support structure but it doesn't really matter. The point is you know where to find stuff again and you trust your system.

                There are various plug-ins available for Outlook (as well as the GTD one) which automatically prompt you to save email in the appropriate folder when you send it. I use this one professionally http://www.oasys-software.com/produc...t/mailmanager/ and it works well. (Note I work for another branch of the firm that produces it so I get it for free but it genuinly is good)

                Hope you achieve email nirvana soon!

                Apop

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brent View Post
                  Yeah, I don't see why you'd care if your outbox is full.

                  Your outbox is a record of what you've told other people. Presumably, your outgoing actions result from the Projects and Actions you've had.

                  Are you worried that you're sending out emails that aren't tied to a Project? That you have un-accounted-for Projects hanging out there that are captured in your Outbox but not in your Projects list?
                  I'm just starting with GTD and Outlook so haven't got all this under control. Here are two situations with the Outbox.

                  1. I send an email to someone to do something or to ask for information. Should this email be automatically filed with a project? Must every email be linked to a project with GTD?

                  2. I reply to someone's request. I may need to refer to this email later. Again, it looks like I must manually file this email somewhere or associate it with a project.

                  Am I missing something?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GTD_NewUser View Post
                    1. I send an email to someone to do something or to ask for information. Should this email be automatically filed with a project? Must every email be linked to a project with GTD?

                    2. I reply to someone's request. I may need to refer to this email later. Again, it looks like I must manually file this email somewhere or associate it with a project.
                    I don't use outlook for email, so take this with a grain of salt; but here are my strategies for each of these situations:

                    1. I don't mess with the email at all. I record a "waiting for" item in my @waiting list. All of my waiting-for's are handled the same way regardless of whether they originated via email, telephone, verbally, internet purchase, etc. If I need to follow up on the email, then I can dig it out of the "Sent" folder.

                    2. If I think I may need to keep something for later reference, I use the "Send and File" option. In addition to sending the email to its recipients, the email gets filed in the appropriate reference folder. I think most email clients have this capability, but if Outlook doesn't, then just bcc: yourself and process it from your inbox as normal.

                    Hope this helps.

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                    • #11
                      The following are just my opinions. I may be wrong.

                      You don't need to associate every single item associated with a project to that project in some way. As long as you can get to it easily, you're fine.

                      Originally posted by GTD_NewUser View Post
                      1. I send an email to someone to do something or to ask for information. Should this email be automatically filed with a project? Must every email be linked to a project with GTD?
                      Doesn't need to be, no. As long as you can get to that email easily (via search, for example), you're fine.

                      2. I reply to someone's request. I may need to refer to this email later. Again, it looks like I must manually file this email somewhere or associate it with a project.
                      Then refer to that email later. You don't need to manually file the email or associate it.

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