Wednesday, April 18, 2007

GTD with OneNote: emails and Outlook

[Edit 21/6/07 - I have upgraded to Outlook 2007, I'm currently intergrating this into my system so stay tuned for developments]

In my previous post I touched on how I use Outlook to complement my OneNote GTD setup. In this short post I will explain how I deal with emails that generate a next action.
When I get an email that requires an action I flag it for follow up in Outlook. I use the ability to set up virtual search folders in Outlook 2003 to keep my flagged emails grouped by client or porject. I then use the send to OneNote function to send a copy of the email to OneNote. I have set the default target location for these emails to my Today section rather than my unfiled notes section. This will then open up a copy of the email in OneNote - from where i can tag it to be processed. I can the process this as I would any other item I collected that day - usually tagging it as a project and adding any next actions to the OneNote item.
Once any actions are completed and the project finished I can switch back to Outlook and find the item quickly, flag it as done and file it away.


Amit said...

I read all your posts and liked them a lot. I'm trying to use your tips myself and hope they will help my productivity.
Looking forward for next posts on this!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that your system is based on outlook 2003.

What about the new "Categories" in outlook 2007? Have you tried that?

Your implementation by far is the best i've seen, but It keeps outlook too "disconnected" from the tasks.

That's why I was asking if you had chance to play around with Outlook 2007.

thanks :)

Rob said...

@Anonymous - I have not used Outlook 2007 since it came out of Beta. I liked it, but was not using its new features enough to justify an individual purchase. I would have had to buy one of the higher end Office 2007 suites to get it and OneNote together. It seems crazy that OneNote and Outlook are not combined in either the basic, home and student or standard packages - I suppose it's microsofts way of getting me to spend more money - but thats something I am not prepared to do at present.

chadmany2k said...

thanks for the post. any of you use Outlook Track-It? it's a great followup email reminder (plug in for outlook).

Bane said...

I use Outlook 2007, and to respond to below, I do use Outlook Track-It. I use xobni too but Outlook Track-It helps with the followup functionality, and improves GTD. I am one of those guys that always forgets to reply so I am really glad Outlook is customizable. -bane

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