More efficient way of handling email (lotus notes) with GTD?
Hi everyone, i'm kind of new to GTD. I currently use Lotus Notes at work and i want to use it more efficiently.
I'm an accountant and i have a lot of email and a lot of issues throughout the day. The way i have my folders setup is as follows
I also have a bunch of folders below that which i file emails that i either have finished with (in terms of 1 time actions or projects) or are things that i don't need to do anything with, but i'd like to keep for future reference (i.e. company wide emails on changes in benefits). For example, i have an "Accounts Payable" folder for AP related transactions and a "Personal Folder" for just about anything related to me but not necessarily work related.
Here's my problem. If i need to request something for someone so i can do my work, i send them an email and i file it in my 'waitingfor' folder. If i get a response, i might put that in my 'nextaction' folder (if i don't feel like processing the info i got right away), then i have to go back to the 'waitingfor' folder and move that message to one of the folders below for archiving. If i DON'T get a response, i have to go into the waitingfor folder, forward a followup to the person, and move the previous message in the appropriate archiving folder.
Is there a better way to do this? It seems like i have too many steps.
This is usual with 'waiting for's
I think this is not problem specific to lotus notes or so. There will be 'waiting for' items somewhere, and they will have to be taken out of that list whenever the response is received.
What I suggest is do not immediately bother archiving the mail in the 'waiting for' folder. According to what I perceive from your message, you seem to regularly review that folder. During that time you can follow up what needs to be followed up, and archive what needs to be archived, one by one, sequentially.
This way, the number of steps is the same (except searching for a particular mail in 'waiting for'), but probably the flow is better.
Hope this helps,
Whitepaper with GTD for Notes implementation steps
Hi - you may already have seen this, but just in case you haven't . . . we have a whitepaper available that describes step-by-step how to set up Lotus Notes to implement GTD.
It's a great place to start for using Notes with GTD. You may still find yourself experimenting, but at least you'll have a solid foundation.
I use four folders in Notes
I do not maintain my NAs in Notes - I do not like how their standard task forms and views work. I maintain my NAs and meeting/brainstorming notes on paper in a series of 79c college ruled spiral notebooks.
I used to be a massive email hog. I saved everything, no folders - just an inbox and full text search. I archived anything above 250MB to my local archive copy. When I had a Sydney-LA-Chicago at the end of three weeks of vacation, I replicated all my waiting mail and decided that was a good time to change my email habits to work better with GTD.
I have four GTD folders:
1. 4WeeklyProcessing. If an email comes in where I think there's a NA and I cannot resolve it in less than three sentences and without any thought... it gets dragged into this folder. Using the 4 makes it be the top folder.
2. Waiting For. Emails (either sent or received) that are likely triggers for waiting fors get dragged in here. Again, I maintain my waiting for list on paper, but things get dragged in here until I have a chance to update the list
3. Revisit at End of Month. Email that I'm highly likely to eventually delete but which may contain some small piece of reference that I might need go in here.
4. Long Term Project Storage. The new "storage inbox" but with a LOT less volume in it. I can use full text search on this to find what I need.
The email in the 4WeeklyProcessing gets reviewed at worst at my weekly review time (it varies due to my travel schedule, but typically Friday for work, Saturday for personal). In reality, it gets reviewed near the end of the work day when I'm not on the road, and the emails get converted to NAs and either deleted or moved to one of the other folders.
When I'm on an airplane and it's a bit too crowded to have both the paper system and my laptop out, I will create one draft email and put the NAs in there.
The WaitingFor folder does not get reviewed daily, the view gets printed out and used in my weekly review. I've made an recurring appointment from 2pm-5pm on the last business day of each month to review the Revisit folder.
My performance measures are:
- No read email in my inbox folder.
- On days I'm in the office, when I go home for the day
--- No email in the inbox folder
--- All email in the 4Weekly folder converted to NAs
Lotus Note "Send and file" option
Each time I send an email, expecting an answer, I use "send and file" option then file in my "-waitingfor" folder. I review my folder on a regular basis.
Each time I receive an email, process it and decide "what's next", I use "copy to" than "new task", add some comments on the next physical action to take on the heading, add category (context that I've setup). That's it.
This setup is based on white paper "GTD and Lotus Note" that Connect Member can get. It is also available for non-connected on davidco.com website. I personalysed the "copy to next task" process.
Hope it will help.