In his post, Kortman talks principally about using boomerang’s 2nd feature above, sending email away to return to your inbox at a later time. Like, … a “snooze” alarm for items that can’t be acted on immediately.
Here is what Boomerang looks like when you install it (see Appendix A below for installation instructions):
What is the GTD angle?
That Boomerang is yet another tool. Something to experiment with to prototyping more efficient ways of working.
What should my email look like?
Good question. The orthodox GTD answer would be to be regularly getting to in-box zero. I find myself however, gradually drifting further and further from inbox zero (right now I’m at inbox 536) without feeling stressed or becoming preoccupied with what is in my inbox.
The actual next actions list that I’m using is not kept in email, it is kept in my OmniFocus inbox in: Vacation, Today, This Week, This Month, Eventually buckets:
Since adopting this organization scheme from Salvatore antirez Sanfilippo my email box has become something of a ….
Source: Apartment Therapy
Yes, my email has become a junk drawer. And the strange thing is, I don’t feel bad in a “clutter” way about it. I pass into and out of my email all day, put the stuff that matters into my Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Eventually buckets (Vacation exists this week because I have it off school and have out-of-routine things I’d like to get done).
Maybe, but, I don’t think so. In the cause of being “just organized enough” I’ve let my inbox go to seed. I’m getting everything done, I’m experiencing mind like water, I’ve just reached the point where keeping the inbox empty, *feels* like drone work.
Maybe. But email imposes so much overhead. What overhead? Well, for example, when you reply to an email, 99% chance that the email you replied to should drop itself into the @Read folder. Right? But that does not happen. We have to manually rake back through the inbox and waste motions tracking down and filing messages. What is worse is that when someone replies to your reply, the entire message thread will pop itself back into the inbox. Bother.
More and more, I’m beginning to think that Google is on to something with search. :-) That I’ll be better off just searching the junk drawer for the items I know are in it, rather wasting effort on over-engineered organization. The distinction between @Read and Inbox is loosing its difference to my mind.
The acid test:
For me, the acid test of newly configured organizing tools is whether they feel like clutter. And my junk drawer inbox does not feel like clutter. I’m not preoccupied with it because I’ve raked out the important stuff and stuck it in Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Eventually buckets.
All the action in my inbox takes place at the top, and I find myself not really caring about how long the stack of messages is. Where before GTD I panicked at lots of email messages, today I don’t, I know I’ve got all the essentials covered. And I hate wasting time organizing just to look organized. A junk drawer inbox works, … for me. And, I’m going to say “This is OK.”
I may try Boomerang, but I’m an oldster, I like having my email on all my computers safely in IMAP. I’d have to switch to Gmail on line if I fell in love with Boomerang. We’ll see if that happens.
APPENDIX A: HOW TO INSTALL BOOMERANG In Chrome
Step 1: Open your browser and log in to your Gmail account
Step 2: Go to ChromePreferencesExtensions and click on “Get more extensions”
Step 3: Type “boomerang” into the search box and then click the “+ ADD TO CHROME” button to the right of boomerang.
Step 4: Then click the “Add” button in the lower right hand corner
Step 5: Go back to the tab where your Gmail is open, and click “refresh”
You should now have Boomerang working. Click compose and look for the Boomerang line at the very bottom of the message (on the new compose dialog in Gmail). Click here for Boomerang help.