I apologize for the length of this post, but I'd like to be as detailed as possible about my predicament. I also thank you in advance for the time you are taking to read my post.
I've realized that one of the greatest weakness in my GTD system is my processing areas. My belief is that I have too many places to shunt my collected items, which results in multiple/duplicate NA's, extra work, etc. The effect then snowballs as I continuously backtrack to find things that fell through the cracks.
E-MAILS IN THE OFFICE
The greatest problem lies in the GTD system I have at work. The main issue I'm having here is whether to let an email be a NA reminder, or to generate the NA on my CMS' tickler system. Here's a scenario:
- I send an email to my underwriter to request a quote
- I then make a tickler to remind myself to follow up with the underwriter if I don't hear back in 24 hours.
- 3 hours later, the underwriter responds with a quote
- But I can't review the quote in 2 minutes, so I place the email in my "Read" folder in Outlook
- The next day, the tickler pops up, reminding me to follow up with the underwriter.
- I ask the underwriter for the quote, but of course, he sent it already and its sitting in my "Read" folder.
The scenario may seem contrived, but it happens quite a bit unfortunately. My question is, should I abandon one processing area for another? For instance, when I get step 3, should I attach the email to my CMS and update the tickler to, say, "review quote from UW"?
I believe that would be better, though it's not quite GTD as the tickler requires a time function. It also takes a bit more time to attach the email to the CMS, as opposed to just shunting it over to the "Read" folder in Outlook. Nonetheless, I think it would eliminate any duplicate processing steps.
E-MAILS ON THE GO
The next big ticket item for me is how to handle emails on my BlackBerry. By and large, the emails I get require that I be at my desk. So I end up reading the email on the subway, realize I can't do anything about it and just leave the email in my inbox, then end up reading it again the next day.
I think what I'm going to do from now on, is to read through the email, think of what needs to be done, and forward that NA along w/ the original email to myself. That way, the NA will be waiting for me when I get into the office. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Thank you again for reading through my predicaments. I really appreciate it. If you can critique the suggestions I made about emails at the office and on the go, I'd greatly appreciate it!