Received invoices on action list?

Marelva

Registered
Hello all,
If you receive invoices via e-mail. For example a product that you pay after delivery and product is not yet delivered or maybe a invoice of a delivery that will be partially send back. Or any invoice that for some reason is not being paid right at that moment. What do you do with it?
Before GTD I used to put them in email folder 'to pay' like I did with emails 'to do'.
What place do they have in the GTD system? Just keep them in your email folder? Or place them on one of the GTD lists? They have a due date so that's why I would think on GTD list would be better?
 

mcogilvie

Registered
If you have a working, dedicated process to handle this, why change? If your process was not working or you were unhappy with it, then it would be time to ask what the problem is. For example, if you were forgetting to handle things ‘to pay’ in a timely manner, you might use your calendar or a tickler to drive you to check the email folder.
 

Sojourner

Registered
I consider my email account as one of three inboxes I use for my overall GTD process (NirvanaHQ, physical inbox basket, email). I use color coded labels (a Gmail term, may be called folders in other email services) to organize my emails as they arrive and I read them. The top level labels I use are:
  • Next Actions
  • Waiting For
  • Someday
  • Projects
  • Archive
The Projects and Archive labels are the only two that have sub-labels (i.e. project name, reference category name). The Next Actions label I review daily and sometimes periodically during each day to follow-up. The other labels I review during my weekly review, or if something changes like receiving a reply to a Waiting For labeled email.

For something like an invoice that I cannot or do not need to pay immediately, I would file that under my Waiting For label and review it weekly for any triggers that tell me I need to move it to my Next Actions label (e.g. item ordered has arrived, invoice is due sometime the next week). If I had to pay the invoice on a specific date, I might leave it under the Waiting For label until the week I needed to pay it and then move it into my Next Actions label so I review it daily that week.

Side Note: For date specific items I also use an email feature available in Gmail and some other email services (like Outlook online) called Snooze. Snooze allows me to set a date and time to have that particular email reappear as unread in my inbox. That forces me to re-focus on the next action for that email at that date and time. However, I still leave the email itself under my Waiting For label so I'm at least reviewing it weekly.
 

cfoley

Registered
I would tread each of your scenarios differntly.

a product that you pay after delivery and product is not yet delivered
In this case, my project is 'I have the product', where the last action might be to pay for it.
Assuming I am waiting for it and it is not overdue yet, I would create a ticker entry on a suitable date.
When that tickler comes up, that is my cue to reprocess it where I might choose to pay, chase up the supplier, re-tickle or something else.

invoice of a delivery that will be partially send back
My project might be to arrange partial return, which would include negotiating and paying the invoice.
The next action might be an email or call. The invoice itself is project support material.

any invoice that for some reason is not being paid right at that moment. What do you do with it?
My feeling is that the 'some reason' is what the real project is.

Before GTD I used to put them in email folder 'to pay' like I did with emails 'to do'.
If I dealt with a lot of invoices, I might have a context like this, but I would only put invoices that really were ready to pay in there.

What place do they have in the GTD system? Just keep them in your email folder? Or place them on one of the GTD lists? They have a due date so that's why I would think on GTD list would be better?
Generally, emails and documents are either project support material or reference material. You could view invoices as either but if you deal with a lot of them, you might want to store them as reference. Three folders might categorise them nicely: 'invoices-paid', 'invoices-to-pay' and 'invoices-ongoing' where the latter is for all the ones that you don't want to pay yet.

The key for me is that you can find your invoices at the right times. The invoices-paid category is presumably for archival purposes and you wouldn't look in there often. The 'to-pay' file is basically its own context list. There is probably no need to list those invoices elsewhere. 'invoices-ongoing' is where you would find an invoice to move it to the 'to-pay' folder. It could also be part of your weekly review to make sure everything was still on track.

Project lists and action lists are where I would track the things that the invoices are really about. I use a digital ticker file to remind me of upcoming deadlines but you could use a calendar too.
 

Marelva

Registered
I consider my email account as one of three inboxes I use for my overall GTD process (NirvanaHQ, physical inbox basket, email). I use color coded labels (a Gmail term, may be called folders in other email services) to organize my emails as they arrive and I read them. The top level labels I use are:
  • Next Actions
  • Waiting For
  • Someday
  • Projects
  • Archive
So if I understand correctly you have 3 inboxes and you have 2 next action lists: 1 in Nirvana and 1 in your mail service?
 
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