Anyway, I’ve decided that it is high time that I share some of my tips and tricks for staying on top of the todos in my principal (and personal) life. Over the next several days, I will share write about some of my most useful tools. Most of what I use, I learned about from someone else, but I can no longer remember who or when. Suffice it to say, that my organizational system would be nothing without the work of several others.
My main tool for tracking tasks has been Google Mail. I don’t use Google Tasks even though it is integrated nicely. Instead, I use a Firefox/Chrome extension called ActiveInbox (nee GTDInbox). Even without ActiveInbox, my system works but with fewer bells and whistles.
Here are the basics of my todo system (I am not attempting to create a detailed, step-by-step guide to gmail).
- Using Labs, enable multiple inboxes in gmail.
- I set up my multiple inboxes as indicated in the second and third photos (click to enlarge).
- The main idea is that each email that comes in is really an action waiting for me.
- For each email, I should decide to do it right away, make it a low or high priority todo, assign it to someone else, or archive it.
- I use labels such as “Next” or “Action” or “Follow Up” the most. I assign one of those to each email if I can’t just act on it right away and in just a few minutes.
- The multiple inboxes are set up so that the first one (below the normal inbox) shows all of my todos by displaying any email labeled with either Next or Action.
- I leave items labeled Todo for as long as it takes to get it done.
- Once the task is complete, I can remove the todo label.
- Because this is in Gmail, I can access my emails/todos from any computer with an internet connecction.
Day 11 of my month of blog-a-day (Spilling Ink http://tinyurl.com/nc7gg3). 19 remaining.