Using rules to clean my inbox

I love Outlook and its ability to keep me on track. I implement GTD, based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done, and I also incorporate the McGhee Solutions for Productivity which basically takes the GTD methodology but then implements it as fully as possible in Outlook. I have been using their methods since 2007, only moving away from it when I didn’t have Microsoft Office at work.

I am so pleased to have it back again. As much as I enjoy Gmail, it’s just not very good at task management, and even implementing Evernote and TickTick as companions, I never quite got my GTD system working the way I like.

One of the things that makes my Outlook work so well as the capability of assigning rules and categories. In the olden days I didn’t use “conversation” sorting – I found it annoying and cumbersome, but it’s come a long way, and with Gmail defaulting to that, I have gotten used to it more. My old way of moving files from certain people to certain folders doesn’t quite work in my new setting here, because we have a lot of cross-functional teams at my university, so now I find it easier to use categories and then move all the read emails into one folder.

I have a bunch of categories – one for each department, one for each of my supervisors (yes – I have a few), and then one for each of the committees I am heavily involved in.

While I would love to turn on the rules as the emails come into the inbox, I don’t like having unread emails in subfolders. If I can’t see them, I don’t do anything with them. So I will have to disable my rules until I can run my macro from http://www.vboffice.net/en/developers/run-rules-now. It took me forever to find this macro. I knew it had to exist, because I had used something similar before, but it took me quite a while to locate it.

Now to test it on the inbox. I hope to have a moment soon to do that.

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