Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Getting Things Done via your Inbox

I've been Getting Things Done long before it was cool to GTD. My method is simple: I keep my list of things to get done in my email Inbox. Once I get a thing done, I move it to a different folder, and I forget about it. This forces me to deal with incoming email at a very rapid pace. I either keep it in the Inbox because I know I'll work on it in the next few hours (or days), or I reply to it and I delete it, or I file it away, or I simply delete it. There are of course cases when my Inbox grows, but then I take drastic measures to reduce its size. I try to have no more than 25 messages in my Inbox at all times. OK, sometimes I have up to 50, but that's my limit.

Just thought I'd throw this out there in case it might help somebody in organizing their workload.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Curious - what do you think your average amount of work specific email is per day? I would like to utilize a similar method but with the amount of daily email I receive it seems unlikely to work.

Grig Gheorghiu said...

I get a lot of 24x7 monitoring email too, and notifications from all kinds of devices. All in all, probably around 200-300 pieces of email every day. And my method is still very doable at this rate.

Grig

schmichael said...

Glad to hear someone else working this way! I've been doing it for years.

Originally I'd use folders and labels in Thunderbird and now I just use labels in gmail (along with filters to keep some automated stuff out of my inbox).

I particularly like it because I can just text reminders to myself from my cell, and then I enter appointments into Google calendar when I check e-mail next.

Add gcal's SMS reminders into that mix and who needs an expensive smartphone? :)