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Help me understand the GTD Outlook Add-In

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  • Help me understand the GTD Outlook Add-In

    I'm not sure I understand how the @folders created by the GTD plug-in are best used. Am I correct in understanding that they're just temporary holding areas, and I'm pretty much never supposed to look at what's in them, and instead I'm supposed to use the "Tasks" view for reviewing next actions, and the calendar for viewing reminders? So why move the e-mail to the @Action and @Deferred folders at all? After I've completed the action, what am I supposed to do with the e-mail that was moved to the @folder? Just leave it there? What if it's important and needs to be archived? Do I return it to the inbox first and then file it? But doing so removes the associated reminders from my calendar, which I want to keep there for future reference.

    I've watched the Netcentrics videos, and I totally understand how to use the toolbar to create actions or reminders. But I don't see how best to use it if I like to keep all my important e-mails archived. It seems that the toolbar treats e-mails as disposable, just starting points for creating actions or reminders.

    Since I don't really get how it's meant to be used, my current workflow is this: I'm reading my e-mail, then using the "File" button to archive it in an appropriate folder (of which I only have a few -- personal, business, etc) and then if necessary I'm manually creating a new task and associating an action so it appears in my "Tasks" view. I'm not using the Defer/Action/Someday buttons at all. So I must not be taking full advantage of this thing.

    Can anyone help me wrap my head around this add-in?



  • #2
    Define "Important"?

    Originally posted by IronicSans View Post
    Just leave it there? What if it's important and needs to be archived?
    Defining "important" sounds like an extra step and tough to do. Personally I don't bother. Unless I delete the email it is important to some degree and I want to make sure all of them are appropriately backed up and archived.

    I prefer to leverage the Add-in's ability to not only save the emails but be discrete of what they mean to me:


    I like the feature of "Return to In Box" where I can renegotiate what that email means to me - e.g. complete the action but I want to keep the email as reference.

    Important? What the heck does that mean (insert attempt at humor)?



    • #3
      How to use the @Folders

      You have discovered one of the issue with the Add-In. I ran into this as well.

      Yes, once you complete the task the e-mail will just stay in that @folder. What I do is pull up the task, mark it complete, and then click "return to in box". This closes the e-mail and the task. I then go to the inbox and file the e-mail using the toolbar File command.

      This does not handle everthing. From time to time I go through the @folders and file or delete the e-mails that are no longer associated with an active task.

      It would be better if the Add-in asked you waht you wanted to do with the e-mail when you clciekd complete on a task....



      • #4
        I never ever browse for mails in folders - I just use a desktop search tool like Copernic or MSN so it doesn't really make a difference in what folder the mails are.