My Workflow with Things 3 and MS Outlook 2016
Upon Opening Outlook
- Executive 4 D’s in this order:
- Delete - I sort by sender and delete any junk or spam as well as anything I know I don’t need to read.
- Defer - I send any tasks that will take me longer than a few minutes directly to Things 3. I update the subject line with the name of the requestor, a descriptive title, and a due date.
- Delegate - Pretty straightforward. Although I do always edit the subject line with: Attention Needed: Name of Requestor | Description of Ask | Due Date if any.
- DO - I re-sort by received date and look for anything coming from VIP’s (a short list) that I can respond to or complete within a few minutes.
- I created a couple of shortcuts in Outlook to help speed this process up:
- CTRL + SHIFT + 1 - Forwards to Things 3
- CTRL + SHIFT + 2 - Moves the email to an “In Process” folder in my Outlook Inbox. I only have to folders under my inbox: 1) In Process; and 2) Archive.
- CTRL + SHIFT + 3 - Moves the email from In Process to Archive once I’ve completed the task.
Following this workflow for the past week has allowed me to maintain inbox zero, have a more accurate account of what’s on my plate (how many actions I have in my Things 3 inbox) and help me better prioritize my Most Important Tasks by controlling what I put into my Things 3 Today queue.