Archive for July, 2010

Active Inbox

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I’ve been using GTD with increasing intensity since reading this article in 2005. For the last couple of years, I’ve attempted to adopt the standard of Inbox Zero. This is an incredibly liberating strategy of never leaving email in your inbox. You either respond using the 2-minute rule, or you put them somewhere where you’ll return to them at a time of your choosing, ie a folder or label in Gmail. The main thing is, your inbox is a pure collection place, not somewhere to defer decisions about things. If I’ve opened an email, it never goes back in the inbox – it gets deleted, spammed, replied to or deferred. There are 2 risks I’ve discovered along the way:

  1. you can get obsessive about checking emails just to get you inbox emptied. That more or less defeats the purpose of the exercise.
  2. you have to exercise discipline to look at emails on your action list that you didn’t deal with 1st time round. But that’s the same discipline you need for everything in GTD – it’s even harder to be confronted with the result of an old decision to defer something, than just to get on and do it while it’s fresh.

Anyway, the point of this post is that I’ve returned to a Firefox/Chrome addon called ActiveInbox. This is a way of managing Gmail, which has matured over the years into a real life-saver. I might write more about it later.

Helpful book

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Difficult Conversations“. Full of great insight. You can even have a look inside at Amazon. Quite a few really important things in this. 3 levels of conversation: factual, feeling and identity. Lots of good stuff about transcending blame without saying the bland ‘everyone’s right’!