Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Outlook And GTD (Process Part 2)

The next section in my GTD system returns to Outlook in order organize the tasks by context, and one again I have a a macro that enables a search folder to look through out my PST and actually show the tasks that I have entered. And once again the net has proven to be a huge help, specifically Simon Guest’s post here.  In it he supplies a macro that when run, builds two search folders that will show us both our tasks, and mail that is categorized by whatever we want.  Simon writes much better than I can and is far more fluent with Outlook so rather than regurgitate his post, I will just recommend you read it there.  After you have installed the macro as per his instructions come back and I will show how I use his work.

If you have followed Simon’s instructions you now have created a series of search folders.   If you added the second macro, available in the comments, you also have shortcuts to the folders already on your shortcut bar.  Simply drag the shortcuts underneath the “Next Actions” Header and you are done.  Personally, I have deleted the “mail” search folders, because I use the “Create Task From Mail” and Create Appointment From Mail” macro we created in the Outlook and GTD (Process Part 1) post. As a housekeeping note, I can safely delete the original email as a copy is attached to appointment or task I created. 

When you are finished you should have something that looks more or less like this;


As you can see I have created a search folder for each of the contexts I currently use, I have also changes the properties to show all items and not just the unread ones.

I have one other button on the GTD Toolbar in order to help me process.  It is the “Generate Weekly Review” button.  Like everything else I have cobbled together, this one came from someone other than myself.  In this case it was Michael Hyatt who provided the light.  Way back in 2004 he wrote a blog post on how to add a macro to Outlook 2003 that I followed to the letter that worked well in Outlook 2007.  The post has since vanished, although Mr. Hyatt has several other interesting posts about GTD and many other things at his blog here

Basically what the macro does is create seven tasks with a due date of today, and a category of @ computer to kick start my weekly review.  With any kind of luck, I will post a link to Mr. Hyatt’s article in the near future.

Until then, it is time for me to focus on “Do”

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