View Full Version : Simple inbox processing question
11-21-2003, 06:34 AM
Hi I am processing my inbox. I have a letter from my bank and I need to call on it and I do (will take less than 3 minutes). The person is busy and I leave a message.
I have put an entry on my waiting for and I filed this with my permanent bank statements. Is this right? Or do I file it in a waiting for folder?
I usually just put that stuff where I'll remember to look for it. More and more though they would go in the actual project folder, because my pending and next action files were getting out of control, and I would have to sort through the whole thing to find the paper when, for example, the person called me back. It can be easier just to open the project folder and take it right off the top.
11-21-2003, 01:30 PM
When I started with GtD, I thought these lists were wonderful and I was obsessed with keeping them up-to-date continuously. I spent too much time on these lists and then silly things started to happen, e.g., I would make a call and leave a message, change my NA into a Wf, go and file the related paper somewhere, and while I was doing that or within minutes I would get the call back, or I would get the callback while I was working on something else and then have to re-orient myself to what had now become an interruption.
One day, I actually internalized something in the Weekly Review chapter - one of the first things to Do in Weekly Review is to update your lists for completes that haven't yet been recorded. Then I realized that if you have a periodic routine for updating your lists, then you don't have to do it in real time. The question was "how often?" and I decided that daily seemed right. So I now keep a daily journal and things like LM just get noted and the paper kept handy on my desk tucked into the journal or in a Today folder, and when I get that callback, it doesn't seem like so much of an interruption or a hassle any more. I just update my lists at the end of the day, if there is anything for that matter that needs to be noted.
In other words, if I got your bank letter in my mail and made the call immediately and they called me back same day, I may never write anything on my lists - it's a Do Now item that will still be Do Now when the callback comes. If I don't get the callback by the end of the day, then I will Process my journal note as normal. If you turn this incident around and, say, you were working on something and the phone rang or someone walked into your office, you wouldn't write an NA for the work and file away the papers before you dealt with the interruption. You would leave your stuff on your desk ready to go back to it when the interruption is over. My daily journal serves the same purpose - it minimizes the disruption caused by interruptions in the flow of work.
The only time you need a complete inventory is when you are reviewing the complete inventory. Continuously updating the lists and files in real time seems to me to be an enormous waste of time.
11-21-2003, 10:21 PM
Hot dang, Andrew, you've hit it on the head again!
I'm just learning this one myself. Based on a thread in the Gadgets,blah,blah section on this site, I checked out DayNotez for my Palm, and, lo and behold, discovered that I really missed keeping this kind of journal for myself as I worked (which I had done in the past with paper planners, but never on my Palm). Of course, keeping notes on my Palm is both error-prone and painful, so paper was the answer. I still keep my lists electronically (on my happy little Palm), but your description was spot-on. As usual.
12-03-2003, 10:28 AM
I would approach your situation in a variety of ways - depending on how you have your files set up.
1. If your WF file is managable, that's a good place to keep the bank letter until you receive a call back. This will also match your WF list.
2. If you have a tickler file, you could put it in today's folder - which someone else already mentioned. In this scenario, I would not put this item on a list unless I don't hear back the same day - then you need to decide if you should do #1, 2 or 3.
3. Since you most likely have a folder set up for this bank, you could put the letter in that folder; add the note to your WF list & reference where you put the letter so you don't forget.