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Process vs. organize and dealing with your email inbox Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
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We all read about the 5-phases of the GTD workflow: collect, process, organize, review, and do. My system is weak in the "process" phase, especially when it comes with processing my email inbox. While trying to improve myself at "processing", I stumbled upon the distinction between "process" and "organize".

In a nutshell, I am wondering if you can process without at least doing some organizing. Consider that while processing you find an item you need to do, but can't do in less than 2 minutes. It is not related to an existing project, so you switch to omnifocus and:

1) Create a new project
2) Assign a default context to that project
3) Consider what your next action should be, and capture it
4) Maybe assign a due date (in particular if it needs to be done in the next 24/48 hours)
5) Maybe capture a link back to the email (for instance if you need to respond to that email)

That is a lot of work, and to me sounds like organizing. This especially feel like a lot of work if you know what this is something you'll need to do in the next 24/48 hours: in that case you might be tempted to just leave the item in your inbox, knowing that you have to it soon anyway, and being in your inbox is enough to get it out of your head as you know you will come back to your inbox later.

I'd be interested to know what your perspective is on this. Have you found a better way to streamline progressing? A better way to deal with tasks which are due in the next 24 to 48 hours and taking more than 2 minutes without incurring all the overhead of organizing?


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