At work it is quite a bit. We use Outlook 2003, and lately I have been keeping a clean inbox, and it feels great! I have a Time Critical HOLD folder where I try to keep most active task emails, and a lower priority HOLD for things with looser or no real deadlines. So my goal is always to work through the Time Critical HOLD and get to the HOLD. Mmmm-hhh, you know how that goes. Someday, maybe!
I also think I make pretty good use of the tickler system, reminders on the calendar. But how much is too much as far as ticklers? I did learn long ago not to optimistically put things I'd LIKE to get done by certain dates in the tickler system, since the resultant snooze alarm use got tiring. Now only hard and fast deadlines get ticklers,and my calendar is sacred.
But when next actions have hard due dates, should they go there? It seems like dropping emails onto the calendar with reminders a few days ahead of deadlines makes sense. Or should I just include due dates on the items in the Next Actions list? That's simple but not very foolproof, and doesn't get the underlying email as contextual supporting information.
And lastly, I tend to use simple text files in Notepad for Next Action, Projects, my daily journal of tasks completed, etc. I am often tempted to use Excel so I can put in due dates and do sorting, but I always stop because of the overhead of Excel, mostly that it takes longer to open. I guess I could just always leave it open, but I seem to prefer the simplicity and somewhat free-er format of plain text.
Comments? This stuff is a journey!!!