Inbox as a task list

So, yesterday I read this. It echoed a lot of how I approach my inbox as a task list, and some of the ideas there pushed my inbox-fu to black belt levels. However I work in a different environment then Keith does, with a lot more customer facing email. I’ve merged Keith’s ideas with my workflow, and have come up with a gmail centric inbox-fu which is agile, powerful, and above all easy.

First off you’ll need to get the tools that you will need. I use the wonderful boomerang to schedule things. You will also need to set your inbox to “starred first”:

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 8.35.52 AM

This will give you a good view into what you need to work on.

So, now that you have your workspace set up, you’ll need to start dealing with email. As Keith says “triage”. Deal with your email. If it’s going be more then a line or two of text, or 30 seconds to research, star it and forget it. If it’s a task that you need to follow up on later, boomerang it. If it’s none of the above, archive it. When you are done with your unstarred items, start on the bottom of your starred list and take the time to deal with them correctly.

I set aside a few times a day to deal with keeping up with my inbox. If I set aside time, I find that I’m not worrying about it as much. I also know that I can use downtime to catch up if I need to.

I think that the secret here is ruthless triage. You have to keep in mind that people’s feelings will not be hurt if you mute their email threads, or skim and archive them. Be a stone faced email killer. Only star the few things that you need to respond to, and archive everything else when you read it. I cannot stress that enough. If you wait a while, you will never do it. Now, excuse me while I archive the email that came in while I wrote this.

ABA (Always Be Archiving)

 

Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand

…the Discordian version

I dreamed that I was walking down the beach with the Goddess. And
I looked back and saw footprints in the sand. But sometimes there
were two pairs of footprints and sometimes there was only one.
And the times there was only one set of footprints, those were my
times of greatest trouble. So I asked the Goddess,

“Why in my greatest need did you abandon me?”

She replied, “I never left you. Those were the times we both
hopped on one foot.”

And I was really embarassed for bothering Her with such a stupid
question.

You Have Another Version of Skype Running

I really hate this error. Skype is so unstable for me that I get little slowdowns and lock ups weekly, And about once a month I get this error after I’ve force killed it. I used to have to google it every time, drop to a command line and do a bunch of stuff. Well no more. Now there is a script to clean up after Skype’s mess! Skype – you can barrow this if you want. Just have it run when Skype is launching.

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rss -> feedburner -> rss

I’m going to move away from Feedburner, as I am no longer confident in it’s long term viability. This is thanks to Google shutting down reader and moving everything towards the walled garden that is Google Plus. So, if you are one of the two or three people that still follow this blog via RSS, you’ll want to move to the feed at http://greg.nokes.name/feed instead of any other. I will not be shutting off the feedburner anytime soon but that day is coming.

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Viking Coding

I have been using the term “Viking Coder” for a several years now. Honestly, it was a “equal and opposite” reaction to the rise of the Rockstar Ninja Samurai whatevers in job descriptions. I don’t play a guitar or dress in black PJ’s. I am a big dude, and I like big, simple solutions to problems. And I have a least a little bit of Scandinavian in me.

Some folks asked me what I meant by viking coders. So, with out further gnashing of teeth, here you go.

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