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Wednesday
Sep022009

Next Actions and the GTD Add-In for Outlook

Eric has written a post describing how he uses the standard Outlook task 'status' field to supplement the Netcentrics GTD Outlook add-in. In his case he uses it for what I call "subsequent actions" (he sets the status to 'not started') which only become active (a "next action") once a prior "next action" (he sets the status to "In Progress") has been done.

I use a slightly different technique, which I have described in a comment on his post, and here:

I achieve a similar result using Due dates. In my workflow subsequent actions will usually occur on a day in the future once the predecessor next action has occurred. I have a filtered copy of the standard Actions by Project view which has an additional filter on it for actions due on or before today. An implication is I have to due date all my tasks or those with a blank due date are also filtered out, as well as subsequent actions. If when the due date comes around and the ‘next action’ is not yet done, but the ’subsequent’ action appears on my list as now due, this prompts me to either do the ‘next action’ (remembering that I should have already!) or reassess when the subsequent action is due.

The same technique also works as a tickler. For future tasks/reminders I want to be ‘tickled’ about I simply create a task with the relevant due date. On that date it appears on my filtered view as it is now ‘due’.

How are you using the Netcentrics GTD Outlook add-in, and standard Outlook functionality, to manage GTD for you?

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