In my experience, the GTD Add-In seems to run better with Outlook 2007 than it did with OL2003. Once in a while OL2003 would have to disable the add-in. I can only recall that happening once with OL2007.
I’m really liking OL2007 a lot. The issue of Outlook automatically flagging all tasks has become a non-issue. I always have the “No Date” tasks collapsed on Outlook’s new To Do bar and slide them out of the way so that the Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week tasks are the only ones visible. The Week Calendar view is the one I tend to have open because it gives me a fairly complete dashboard of my work week. I print out a copy to slip in a notebook that goes with me when I leave my shop. And on the back side, I print an expanded copy of Outlook’s To Do list (printable from the calendar view by selecting anything in the To Do bar, or from the task list).
Some will argue that this is GTD heresy since I’m not listing actions by Context. But at this particular stage in my life I’m @Office most waking moments, where with telephone and computer and everything else I need close at hand most of the traditional “contexts” blend together. Outlook flags become placeholders to remind me of those things I’ve already decided I want to focus on Today, Tomorrow, This Week, etc. so that I can just start cranking away at them. Davidco’s Outlook Whitepaper uses all-day tasks as a hack to accomplish the same thing. Apparently they’re in the process of re-writing the whitepaper to take into consideration OL2007’s new capabilities. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
The one thing that really captured my attention with OL2007 when I first saw screen shots of the beta version a year or so ago was the task list that appeared below each day in the weekly or daily calendar and the ease with which they could be dragged onto the calendar. I find it useful to block out chunks of time for working on the project that’s currently occupying my attention this way, allowing me, for example, to schedule 9am to 1pm every day next week. There are almost always interruptions, of course. But I find that blocking out time for those activities that require a lot of concentrated focus and effort can be quite effective at nudging me back to what I’ve predetermined I should be doing.
My greatest GTD epiphany in a long time relates directly to the GTD Add-In. By far, most of my next actions can be related to a project. They’re “look into”, “check out”, “consider”- types of placeholders for projects that are somewhere in the pipeline but not projects that I’m actively engaged with right now. I tag these tasks/actions with the appropriate project (and sub-project) but I DON’T tag them with an @action context… not until I’m prepared to engage with them. These items then appear where it’s most useful for me to see them and to think about them—with everything else relevant to that particular project—and they don’t clutter up my @context action lists. I find this makes my @context lists much more useful. You can do this with the Outlook/GTD combo, but not with Outlook alone.
I encountered only two hiccups when migrating to the OL2007/GTD Add-In combination. Microsoft changed the Outlook database format with the 2003 version. I was unaware of this since OL2003 was compatible with the older format. The older format is not compatible with Outlook 2007, however, so if your Outlook data goes back several years and you haven’t made the conversion, you will need to do so. I don’t recall how that is done, although it was a fairly simple process. I found the instructions by searching Microsoft’s web site. If you encounter difficulties, perhaps I can point you to it.
The only other issue I encountered was the one mentioned in this string, where I lost my GTD views after installing OL2007. The fix was simple: Go to Start | All Programs | Getting Things Done | Admin Tool and check “Restore GTD Folders and Views on Startup”.
Of course, as always, back up your Outlook data and make sure you have a clean copy in reserve before doing anything else.