Tracking Action & Waiting For Emails

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by Steve Savanna, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Steve Savanna

    Steve Savanna Registered

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    Hi -

    Question on best practices for managing action and waiting for emails. I have a large email volume everyday, often with quick responses needed. I’ve struggled with using my email application (Outlook) to manage my emails as David recommends or creating actions and waiting for’s in my task manager.

    A specific area I struggle with is how to track emails that i need to respond to but first require a response from a staff member. Example: Client sends me an email asking for the status of the proposal. I need to respond to this but i’ll need to ask my account manager first before responding to the client. Once I have my acc manager’s response i can then respond to my client. Would the best practice be to put the client email in my Action folder and then put my email to my account manager in my Waiting For folder? The only challenge there is that when I look at my Action folder I now have emails that need my response but are waiting on other people first.

    Is this the standard way people track these types of emails or is there a better method?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    It sounds like you have at least three categories of emails, so if you're tracking them in Outlook (I don't) it seems logical to have three folders. That raises the question of what to call the third folder. Research? Pending Research? Waiting For Waiting For?
     
  3. Steve Savanna

    Steve Savanna Registered

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    Yes - this is my challenge. I've tried for years to determine the best method for managing this. I'm certain this is a common situation so I'm interested to know how others in this situation manage this.
     
  4. Bert Kruisdijk

    Bert Kruisdijk Registered

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    I can recommend Sanebox.

    Input
    It is able, looks like AI, to sort out the Inbox in Actual and Later and you can train some folders yourself

    Output
    It contains functionality to track email you are Waiting for a response. It returns back to the selected folder after x days of no response. If you use fe “FYI” in the subject it will not be tracked for response.

    If you are using Apple Max mail app there is also a tool from SmallCube (Mailtags and Mail Acton) where you can build the same folder structure. Please find below my mail folders for reference:

    Wachten op = Waiting for
    Nieuws = Newsletters


    AB0E35A5-D2C8-489C-AA7B-2406904D1462.png
     
  5. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    I also use Outlook for email, with my folders set up as the GTD guides recommend: Action Support, Waiting For, and Archive. I track the actions I need to take on these emails in my task manager; having to look at both a next actions list and an email folder has never worked for me. It's perfectly fine for me to have both current and future actions in my Action Support folder - my task manager points me to the correct email. The Action Support folder is, by definition, reference to assist me in carrying out an action.

    In the example you describe, I too handle many requests that require the input of others. I treat these as projects. Most are completed within a day, but the GTD process still applies.

    I'll often emergency scan my email and handle urgent items on the go. In the moment, I may not have time to file them into the appropriate folders, but I will get my inbox to zero every 24-48 hours. Outlook's conversation view is great when going through my inbox - it shows what I've already replied to, and whether I've received a response. Many issues have already been handled by the time I actually sit down to process!
     
  6. bproffitt1010

    bproffitt1010 Registered

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    I have recently moved e-mails to a "Needs Action" folder when the response needed is longer than a quick reply. When I do send a response that requires follow up, I move the sent item I wrote to the Needs Action folder. I work this folder every day to see what I can act upon. It works well for me.
     

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