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Making It All Work Question- Calls

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  • Making It All Work Question- Calls

    I am setting up a loose leaf notebook, 4 x 6, for my GTD Lists, so that in addition to my briefcase, I can also easily carry it in my purse. ( time will tell if this size will work). My question today is about Calls.

    Voice mail Messages-- If I keep pads of paper by the phone to write down messages, won't I be rewriting the name/phone number onto my call list when I process it from my in basket? Is this a duplication of effort, since I already wrote down the name/number and key points when I listened to the message? What if there are notes on the pad pertaining to the call that I will need when I make it? Where do I store that piece of paper until I make the call?

    Documentation Needed for Calls--If I have a document that I need when I make a call, where does that reside until the call is completed, for example a letter from my credit card company? What if I make the call and now I'm waiting for a response. Do I copy my notes from the call that I wrote on the back of the letter into my GTD waiting for list? Do I put the document in a Waiting for Folder? What if they call back when I'm on the road, now I don't have the piece of paper with my notes handy to refer to?

  • #2
    I wouldn't call rewriting a phone number and a key point on your @Calls list duplication of work; I call it a best practice. It will boost efficiency when you're making calls by preventing you from hunting for the number in your support materials.

    Call Frank Rizzo re: paint work, 212-555-5785

    I highly recommend that you purchase the GTD travel file folder system. I put mine into an accordion style file pouch that fits into a briefcase. There's a folder called "Action Support" in that system. That's where notes and documentation that supports a next action should live until the action is completed.

    Note: If you don't carry that support folder with you when you're out and about you'll be faced with actions that you cannot complete because you don't have the support material to do so. If you can't carry the support materials around then change the context to the location from @Calls to where the support materials are (e.g. @Home, @Office).

    If you must speak to a person you're calling but get stuck leaving voicemail I suggest you flag it with a "WF" or "LV" or some symbol that indicates that you did call but are waiting for call back. Don't rewrite it, but make the mark in pencil so you can erase it to reactivate it if you don't get a return call in a timely manner and want to call again.