Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Workflow Management

One of the things that I have always struggled with is managing workflow...I can't tell you how many to-do lists I have created, how many apps I have tried, to keep on top of things, and it is  a challenge. Oddly enough, one of my best management tools is my email inbox which I use as a reminder on things that need doing, but it really isn't the best way to do it, or is it?

Like many other people, I suffer (or did) from an overflowing emailbox. You read about all these tips that say you should strive for zero-inbox...in other words, no emails in your inbox. You file them, take action on them, etc. so they aren't hovering there, distracting you, calling to you. Yes, there is something to be said for that, and periodically I do go through and do a wholesale cleaning. But I think I might have found a better way.

I use Gmail to manage all of my mail accounts, and along with Gmail they have a nifty thing called GTasks, a to-do list, that I have tried using without success in the past. (The problem with to-do lists is not in creating them...but actually going back and USING them!)  Gmail has a great feature where you can click on it and make a GTask item that is connected to the Gmail. I do this, and if the subject line (which becomes the GTask item) is not descriptive enough, I write a new one, and give it a due date if necessary. I then file away the email because the GTask item has a link to the email itself.

So, when I review the GTask list, and I'm working on that item, I can click on the link and voila! it brings back up the email.

I've been using this for a few months and it is working out for me...keeping my inbox level down to a very manageable level, keeping a list (that I actually do check) of items and, hopefully, keeping a workflow moving.

Give it a shot!

Ed