nav-left cat-right

GTD Mastery 100: Step 5

To read my complete journey to GTD Mastery see the main post.

Step 5 to GTD Mastery is: I have an email program, set up the way I want it.

I use Gmail for all my email management. Entering university this year, I received a school email account. However, I’m able to forward all the messages to my Gmail account, reducing my email inboxes to one.

Recently, Gmail added coloured labels. I use this to highlight any email originating from school.

School email label in colour

I use Gina Trapani’s Trusted Trio for managing my email. It consists of 3 categories: Actions, Archive, Hold. However, I’ve modified it slightly. “Archive” is replaced with “Reference.” I found it redundant seeing Gmail’s archive button and an archive label. I’ve also added a “Waiting For” label specifically for any emails I’m waiting on a reply. Each are also given their own coloured label.

Trusted trio in colour

In my settings, I’ve setup my main Gmail to let me send using various other accounts


Various emails

I’ve setup a filter for each of the newsletters I subscribe to that automatically labels them accordingly. This makes future retrieval easier. For example, the thinkArete newsletter filter is shown below:

newsletter filters

Lastly, I use the Modified Gmail Macros v2.0 Greasemonkey script which enables you to create custom keyboard shortcuts for various tasks in Gmail.

Gmail macros

I’m eager to here from the readers. Any more Gmail enhancements I should know of? How do you manage email?

Share and Enjoy:
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • RSS
  • Print

Related posts:

  1. GTD Mastery 100: Step 1
  2. GTD Mastery 100: Steps 2 & 3
  3. GTD Mastery 100: Step 4
  4. Vitalist, possibly THE best GTD app out there
  5. GTD Mastery 100 Series

4 Responses to “GTD Mastery 100: Step 5”

  1. DWarrior says:

    I was actually tweaking my Gmail today. I used to use Stars for my Action email, but I realized all that does is decentralize my Next Actions list. I think emails belong more appropriately as project support material, so now I have a slightly modified system. I still use !Read, !Someday, and !Waiting (!Hold seems redundant once you implement !Waiting and Project Support, but I may be wrong as I?m still a GTD newbie).

    I recently implemented ?# ? labels to designate Project Support materials, so for example my textbook buyback price quotes are labeled ?# Sell Textbooks?. Labels with no prefixes are just general reference materials. There is a note on my project in Vitalist (the site I use to house my main GTD system) says ?Gmail for more info?

    For people who want to implement similar hierarchy of systems, the following symbols get sorted before the rest of the alphabet:
    There are others, but this gives you the ability to create 5 layers (one being no prefix), which should provide enough functionality for most people. Any more will probably become way too complicated.

    Keep in mind, this is all beginning stages, so I can?t speak for its efficacy.

  2. Chris Y. says:

    Gina says, “for you GTDers, items in the Hold folder might correspond with items in the next few weeks in your tickler file.” She also uses it for Waiting For.

    I’ve found it easier to separate the two using hold for support material only. This way I have a quick way to see a “delegated” list using the Waiting For label.

  3. DWarrior says:

    I see, maybe I’ll give the Hold folder a try since my Someday list seems to be steadily growing.

    Also, just an FYI regarding the “send email as”, the actual address line that gets sent is “Sent from on behalf of“. Some clients hide the “sent…on behalf of” portion, but some don’t (Hotmail doesn’t hide it). Which kind of seems like a useless feature to me because the whole reason I’d use that feature is to send emails from a professional-sounding address when I don’t want my recipient to see my real address (ex: job applications).

  4. [...] GTD Mastery 100: Step 5 | GearFire Chris over at GearFire explains his souped up Gmail configuration which he uses to run his GTD universe. As a strong believer in the “GTD in e-mail” school of productivity thought, I’m dutifully impressed. [...]

  5. Nice article! Thank you so much for the information! :)