Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Collaboration and Content Strategies Blog: Getting Things Done and Microsoft Outlook

See the full post for instructions on how to send-and-save in Outlook 2007...

So... I finally got around to finishing Getting Things Done, after having it on my expansive unread-book shelf for ~6 months (what's the emoticon for self-deprecating irony?...).  I wish I'd thought to explore the Wikipedia entry on GTD before reading the book, as that would have saved me some time; I still think the book is a worthwhile read, however. Wikipedia also has an entry on GTD software -- an impressive list; clearly the GTD approach has resonated with lots of readers (and software developers).

I'll have more perspectives to share on the GTD themes in future posts, but for now I wanted to share a quick note about Microsoft Outlook in this context.  GTD author David Allen notes, on p. 153 (of the paperback version of the book), that:

"Some applications (such as Lotus Notes) allow you to file a copy of an e-mail into one of your folders as you send it (with a 'Send and File' button).  Others (e.g., Outlook) will simultaneously save only into your universal 'Sent Mail' folder.  In the latter case, what seems to work best for many is to copy ('cc' or 'bcc') themselves when they delegate via e-mail, and then to pull that copy into their '@WAITING FOR' folder.  (It's relatively easy to program Outlook to automatically send any e-mail that you 'cc' to yourself in a designated folder, which would replicate the process just described.)"

Here's my information worker time & attention entropy reduction tip for the day: Allen is wrong -- Outlook does support send-and-share, but it's a multi-step action in Outlook, rather than the single-step action in Notes.

Collaboration and Content Strategies Blog: Getting Things Done and Microsoft Outlook

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