Tag Archives: GTD

GTD : The Blackberry

While doing a personal audit of my system, I realized that I was touching emails twice. I was reading them on my Blackberry and then archiving or filing them for follow-up on my desktop. To make things worse, emails that I had processed on my laptop were still showing up on my blackberry. It was obvious that I could save a lot of time ans stress if I could process email once; especially if I could use those empty minutes between meetings processing email once using my Blackberry.

I should clarify that I am currently using a Macbook with OSX and Entourage 2008. I am connecting to an Exchange Server and have a BES server synchronizing email between exchange and my Blackberry. After doing a considerable amount of research on this topic, here’s what I came up with.

1. I created copies of my offline email folders (“Archive”, “To Act On”) to my exchange account. This now gives me the ability to “File” emails to these folders using my Blackberry. This is easily done by pressing “i” while in the email, “a” to select the archive folder and “enter”. I’ve been able to train myself to get through these three keystrokes pretty quickly. I’m still looking for ways to get this done to one keystroke. I may have to write some software.

2. Enabled Folder Redirection on your blackberry.

3. Modified my Applescript files (See my previous post) to move email to my online Archives instead of my offline. The last two steps ensure that email that I have processed on my laptop does not show up as unread and unprocessed on my blackberry.

I am happy with the early results, though I’m still trying to refine the technique. The Blackberry is finally starting to payback time instead of sucking it away.

GTD : Processing your inbox

I’ve been going back to basics lately and working on re-launching GTD at work and at home. This time around I’m comitting to implemeing the full system including things I haven’t tried before such as the Tickler.

Dealing with email is a major part of my day to day work. Generally I’m forced to deal with 100 to 200 emails a day. My approach is a combination of Inbox Zero and GTD. I strive to keep my inbox empty. I process my email into three categories: 1. Archive for future reference, 2. To Action, 3. Trash. I’ve setup offline folders to support each of these categories. To speed things along, I’ve written some macros / scripts so that I can easily move email into each of these folders with a simple key stroke.

Currently I use a Macbook and entourage for email. I’ve written some Applescripts that move the currently selected email into the “Archive” folder or the “To Action” folder. I use a cutom trigger within Quicksilver (Alt-M) to run the script and move the email. I use separate versions of the script for each offline folder. (Alt-T for Move To “To Action).

Get the Script Here

If your using Outlook (most people are) I’ve used this VBA Macro in the past. Unlike Entourage, you can map this macro to a keyboard shortcut right within Outlook.