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Tracking @Waiting For

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  • Tracking @Waiting For

    My GTD system consists exclusively in Outlook using the GTD Add-in and my Treo. Email consists of 90% of my communication and thus, I track NAs, projects and reference material mostly through email.

    Using the GTD-Addin, I always "send and delegate" to people and mark it has the appropriate project and it goes onto my @Waiting For list. However, sometimes the recipient responds within minutes or it can be days. I definately want an @Waiting For task when it's going to be days, but it seems very uneccesary for an email that is going to get replied back within a few minutes. Any suggestions on this?

    Also, when you have an item on your @Waiting For and you hear back from this person, how do you know that it actually is a task that you are waiting for? I tend to have gobs of @Waiting For tasks at my weekly review, that 99% of them have been done already. Do you simply not update your @Waiting For until the weekly review or do you try to keep it up to date all the time?

  • #2
    I wouldn't wait until the weekly review, but I wouldn't immediately put it directly into the @Waiting context either.

    I carry a pocket moleskine that acts as my inbox. When I send an email asking for information or delegating an action, I make a quick note of it in the moleskine. If I get a response, the item gets crossed off. At the end of the day, anything that hasn't been crossed off goes into 'the list'.


    • #3
      1. I prefer to send mails once a day so there's no problem with putting @Waiting Fors when required. If that's your main communication path then it could be tricky putting WFs each second. I think it's useless. Probably you should do it once with the last mail you intend to send to other part during this mailing session;

      2. I touch @Waiting For once a week during Weekly Review. I don't care if I have one-two-three-or more same Waiting Fors sitting there. As it's tracked by a responsible person clearing up takes a few seconds in Outlook.



      • #4
        I don't worry about the number of @Waiting for email I have, either, as this is an important placeholder to remind me that I sent the email and am awaiting a reply.

        I find it funny that, in the times I expect an almost immediate reply from someone, it takes two or three days before I hear back from them. I dont want to risk losing sight of an email I sent, so into @Waiting for it goes- safe and viewable - at my earliest convenience or at The Weekly Review.

        I don't know how many of you find this, but I have fun going through my @Waiting for context list and delelting the items that have been cared for. Hey, this simple little context is an ingenius method for keeping track of all the stuff we're wait for from others. I enjoy knowing I've done it well!


        • #5
          Just a hint. You can always put yourself to BCC field of the email you'd like to follow-up. And make a rule in your Outlook to move all the messages with your address in BCC to @Waiting For folder. Thus you don't loose anything and it takes less then a second.



          • #6
            Hi Adam. First, the idea is to track those things that are (or would be) on your mind. If it'll bug you, track it. That said, I wouldn't have an issue with tracking *everything*, like your tool wants to do. You just need to run through it as often as you prefer (during the weekly review at a minimum) to see if anything needs follow-up action.

            In general I like the Waiting For list - it's fun, and things are moving fast. You might like my article My favorite GTD list? Waiting For!

            Hope that helps.


            • #7
              I created a rule that when I send a message that has "~" anywhere in it, a copy is sent to my in-box. The result is instant--As soon I hit "Send," a copy of the e-mail is in my in-box.

              Secondly, I have my in-box sorted by "Conversation." When the person responds to my e-mail, the response is going to show up right next to my e-mail.

              At the end of the day, the in-box is generally empty. I might let something like my copy of the e-mail hang around a second day. If I don't ex[ect a response for several days, I drag the e-mail to the Task icon, change the status on Outlook to "Waiting for Someone Else," add a due date, and save.


              • #8
                Great stuff guys! Thanks!

                I suppose it's not such a bad idea tracking all of my emails. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and only review the @Waiting For when I need to or just on my weekly review.