Inbox Zero: Productivity tools

Many many other people have written much much more about productivity tools.

You might want to read them. I’m going to share my own impressions of the various tools I’ve tried. The most important thing is to choose a tool that works FOR YOU. I currently use IQTell, but the same reason that this works for me could be the reason why it won’t work for you. (The fact that it has taken me three weeks longer to write this post than I intended is not a failure of my system but pure-and-simple a lack of time to do everything I want to do, and blogging being a lower priority than school, work, and sleep.)

I’m interrupting our progress towards getting to Inbox Zero for this discussion because the next step — and the key to keeping your inbox empty — is having a system for tracking your to-do list(s).

I use IQTell because I can get all of my emails in a single browser window (work, personal, and school); they are kept separate within IQTell, including signatures and from: addresses, but there is only one place to check. (If I have 1 work email, 2 personal emails, and 2 school emails, the browser tab will say “IQTELL (5)”.) I can link any email to an action or to a project, I can add an email to my calendar, I can customize my standard searches, and it has all the other standard designed-to-work-with-GTD functions. It also syncs with Evernote, which, while it hadn’t been my go-to notebook program, is a remarkable addition to being able to keep everything in a single “wallet.” (My term.) But really it’s the email-calendar-task linkage that sold me on IQTell. (IQTell also has really good email customer service and brief video tutorials. I could go into greater detail about why the tutorial videos are so good, based on what I learned in my information literacy instruction class last semester, but you don’t really want to read all that right now :-) )

NOW.

You’re going to read the evaluations I linked to above and choose a productivity tool. As soon as you have a good list of tasks set up, come back and we’ll talk about how to take your remaining emails, convert them to tasks, and then archive the emails.

See you back here soon!

 

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