Tips on using outlook with a gmail server and iphone

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by Ethan, May 22, 2018.

  1. Ethan

    Ethan Registered

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    My employers email is hosted by google and IT suggests using gmail and google etc

    I hate gmail and google and gcal. It's barely functional for personal use let alone professional use where I get 100 emails a day to deal with.

    I love outlook setup with our gmail and can set it up fine for GTD... Outlook is my GTD system and I love it

    Issues/questions
    1) apparently all the categories you setup with the GTD setup guide aren't stored on the server and are local to the pst cause when my PC was re-imaged, all the categories were gone and I had to start over and reassign all the tasks.
    2) Outlook for the iPhone doesn't have tasks... I'm open to a new phone...best practices for getting outlook tasks on a phone that can be updated/edited?

    Any tips of using outlook with gmail and making it portable but not using any google garbage.
     
  2. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hello Ethan; As your employer is "suggesting" and not "ordering", it sounds like you have room to do your own thing!
    1. You can set-up your email in Outlook like any other email service. Meeting appointments between Google-Calendar and Outlook-Calendar are ... theoretically compatible. I have found time-zone problems between them. Thus, its a good idea to test first! If your employer uses the Gmail calendar ap (i.e. for scheduling meetings , you might need a third party ap to synchronize the two. (I use GSynchIt from http://fieldstonsoftware.com/).

    2. I am an Android phone user and have found no good way to use my GTD influenced Outlook task system on my phone. My solace is that Outlook on a laptop is the perfect GTD platform for me.
     
  3. chirmer

    chirmer Registered

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    Gmail is actually an incredibly competent email system -- otherwise the millions of companies paying for its G Suite platform would be miserable.

    G Suite as a whole is actually awesome for GTD as well as it's all in one place. Calendar, inbox, storage, tasks - everything is there, part of the same platform.

    It seems you really should give it a go before you try and hack something with Outlook. My workplace migrated from Exchange to G Suite years ago and some really tried to use Outlook and make it work, but honestly? I would advise against it. Outlook makes you dependent on the computer you're at, and in 2018, any real solution should easily work on mobile. Plus, Gmail is a web app. It's the same no matter what computer you're sitting at. There are real benefits to not having to make adjustments for whichever platform you currently have access to.

    Here's how I would set up G Suite for GTD:
    - Inbox: Gmail, as well as a folder in your Google Drive titled, you guessed it - ! Inbox (the exclamation point bumps it to the top of your Drive) and possibly Google Keep
    - Task Lists: Google Tasks
    - Calendar: Google Calendar
    - File storage: Google Drive

    Inbox: Gmail, of course, as it's your email source and most likely a large generator of tasks. I would also create an Inbox folder in Drive, with an exclamation point at its front so it bumps to the top of the list. I use this for when I'm scanning things, or as a dumping ground for files I need to sort later. You can also use Google Keep if you have a smartphone. There's a web app, but I find it redundant if using Drive. Keep's a great way to quickly snap photos and take notes from mobile, though.

    RE: Gmail organization - I have my Gmail set up with a label for To Do, Awaiting Reply, Following, and then my general inbox. This way I can quickly reference the emails I need to act on, those I've replied to and I'm waiting to hear back from, and those I'm following along without contributing. I also have a label for each active project. Photo attached.

    Task Lists: Google recently redid Gmail and Google Tasks' interfaces. Tasks ties directly into Gmail and opens in the sidebar. It's really easy to add emails as tasks, too. Just open the proper list and drag the email in. Voila! Task, with a link to the particular email. I would make a list for every category you use in Outlook. Simple is best.

    Calendar: Google Calendar. Ties into Tasks, so if you want to show due dates from Tasks on the calendar you can.

    File storage: Google Drive. Create a folder for each active project, as well as an Inbox and a Long-Term Storage folder. Organize as you wish.

    Best of all, the apps for each of these work very similarly on mobile, so you only have to learn your setup one way. As David Allen has said, if you need to be on the top of your game to figure out your system, it's broken. This makes it dead simple.

    Give it a whirl and see if it works for you. You might be surprised.
     

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  4. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    Hi Chrimer; You made some great points. I see how G Suite in and of itself handles GTD well. Furthermore, I use an Android phone and rely on the G suite to integrate with Outlook.
    I have used Outlook in work settings since 2000. In that time I am not aware of anyone who has recieved any training in its use. Most people know how to do the basics in it - that's it. While I have not read the GTD booklet in Outlook, the David Allen company is obviously using advanced features in Outlook (and other platforms like Lotus Notes, OneNote, ect.) and porting the GTD methodology to them.

    For an organization to take Outlook or G Suite and say to their employees "here is a new tool; use it and be productive" with neither training nor a process is to set them up for failure.
    This has always been true. In the mid 1980s, I scoffed at personal organizer software for PCs as the portability of a DayTimer (paper and ink system) was superior for most users.
    Agreed, multi-device accessibility is a big advantage!

    Great idea! Again a multi access for folders that sort to the top of the Drive directory!

    The deal-breaker with Google tasks is that you cannot set a start date only an end-date. I would miss the start dates too much. That said, I realize that this is not part of GTD but it is part of JGTD (John Gets Things Done :) )
    I don't hack, I configure :) Just like you an G suite, I'm always trying to find ways of optimizing the use of my platform.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  5. SDH

    SDH Registered

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    The Outlook Task app for iPhone is Task Task. It’s silly to have to have two apps, but that’s the app world as it stands currently. Task Task works really well. I use it daily.
     

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