Converting emails to tasks brings sanity to my inbox

Ryan's InboxI get a ton of email. I truly believe that there are small gremlins in my laptop, building hundreds of emails a day for me to try to keep up with. Everyday, I lose the battle against email, and find myself flagging many of them for follow-up. This isn’t too helpful though, because:

  1. they’re not actionable (there’s no task associated with them)
  2. it increases my blood pressure to see my follow-up email count rise to the current 424 level

In the rest of my Outlook life (that’s right, I use Outlook 2003) I have created a task management system that allows me to create actionable items in my Task manager by categorizing everything I do into Musts, Needs, and Wants. This has actually worked pretty well, and has kept our Post-It note supply noticeably higher. Flagged emails, however, just make me look at the mess that is my inbox and realize this is a losing battle.

Until now.

Luckily there are awesome people like KC Clemson in the world, that help make life easier for the email-challenged. In her blog posting “Create a task from an email“, she shows how easy it is to create a macro, and a button in your toolbar, that allows you to select an email and make it a task. This is huge. It means that I can migrate email communication quickly into an actionable item in my task system. Rather than trying to find follow-up emails to determine tasks that need to get done, I can just go to my Tasks folder, which is essentially my life organizer these days.

This is day 1 using it, but so far, so good. I’ve commented out the macro’s deletion of the original email after tasking, and removed the auto-reminder set in it, but otherwise, it’s been a good start in the right direction.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 12th, 2007 at 11:24 am and is filed under nptech, quick tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Converting emails to tasks brings sanity to my inbox”

  1. Jean Banton says:

    Hey Ryan, This sounds good. This will be my first task tomorrow at work. I hope it will bring sanity to my inbox as well.

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