Quick mini-projects + follow-up during the heat of the battle
Does anyone have a good (Outlook or other) tweak on how to deal with quick 1-2 day projects and their follow-up?
Heres the scenario:
I use Outlook + (usually) two separate ERP's (enterprise resource planning). I get customer info out from ERP's and send it via Outlook to 4-6 recipients. I need input from these people to move the project forward. And I usually need to have all their info combined before I can input this info again to ERP. And then I'll pull this info back from ERP in some other form and forward it again to the same (or another) 2-4 people. This might loop few times. Sometimes I have two or three of these cycles going on at once. Projects like these are usually done within 1-2 days. And for a successful outcome I really need to be able to hold all the strings follow-up (waiting for)-vice. I might have 2-3 of these projects going on during the 1-2 day period. I might be scheduled on a business trip during this time and allthough I can access outlook via exchange from my mobile as well as both ERP's its no fun with mobiles screen estate.
In Outlook I manage these projects either by flagging them or by just dragging sent mail to tasks' waiting for -category. I try to form the subject line on outgoing mails so that I wouldnt have to modify them when they get dragged to tasks. This is ok if I have enought time to concentrate on these projects, but usually (esp. business-trippin') my focus is elsewhere (the heat of the battle is really on...) and I start to feel extremely overwhelmed with keeping up with follow-up/waiting for. I've tried different tools for this, from (selfmade-)custom paperforms to digital lists other than Outlook. But these other tools tend to distract me from outlook's (or synced mobile's) lists so that my focus starts to wander away from my GTD systems core (which I obviously dont want).
And as last point, I havent actually tweaked that much with Outlook on this, because Im afraid that if I start to play with my working system I might paralyze it. I've thought about having these quick projects as a separate context (or category) but given that I have all my bigger projects outlined in Outlooks notes, i wouldnt want to pull these projects (and my focus) away from that list.
Any working ideas accepted with gratitude