GTD handling E-mail that contain tasks
This may be a very basic question, but I can't seem to figure out how to handle this headache!
I'm a REVA (Real Estate Virtual Assistant) working from home (in my PJ's some days!).
Some of my work includes contact management for my client. He will forward me an e-mail (which has lots of content) from another realtor and my job is to input that realtor's contact information (which is usually in the signature of the e-mail) into Top Producer (a software program).
I get about 20 of these FWD e-mails a day! They clutter my inbox (which I'm trying to keep at zero) and stress me out because I have to weed out the content that I need to do my job. I'd love to find an easy way to copy out the information I need and put that into a list of sorts that I can use when I need it.
I try to only do this type of data entry 2 times a week so the information can be stashed away during the week.
So would "enter new contacts" be a weekly project, a next action or on a list?? any ideas:?:
Re: GTD handling E-mail that contains tasks
Several other ideas for removing the item from your inbox while still being able to easily retrieve it.
I agree with Kelly that this should be a recurring, calendared task.
Create a separate e-mail folder for these items so that you can move them from your inbox.
Or, if you use GMail, create a label for "Pending Contact Info to Enter," and stash them there until you do the data entry.
Hope this helps.
"Not a natural at GTD"
re: handling embedded tasks in emails
This is a huge pet-peeve of mine: that users can't manipulate email data in a way that gives them the most control. It is still considered a static message you have to read with very little flexibility other than where to file the entire email. This *does not* leave clean edges with respect to email and thus it creates drag on the mind -- even more so when these emails are automated and forwarded and cc'd or bcc'd from others.
This is one of the major reasons I decided to develop my own file-based approach to getting things done on the Mac. One of the things Mac OS X allows users to do is make a clipping of text by simply selecting the text and dragging it to the desktop (or some folder). Since my system is all based in the file-system of the Mac OS, I just cull my emails for actionable items, select each piece of actionable text, and drag it to my desktop folders to process and review. I can still keep the original email in an archive if I wish (though I usually delete it because I like seeing my inbox emptied and I know I've got this information the way I want it now).
I think any strategy that gets these important pieces of information out of your email program and into a system you trust to review later is better than a strategy that tries to use the email program as a filing system.
Not sure what your setup is, but this is what works for me.