Getting Things Done and Outlook

Confession: I am a lapsed Franklin Covey user, a former Palm user, and otherwise the former user of more productivity methodologies than I can count. So I have read Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders, a blog on implementing productivity workflows on a Mac using the Getting Things Done methodology, with healthy skepticism for the last year or so. One big knock is that for some reason Merlin’s preferred tool, Quicksilver, has always run like a dog on my system. But I finally started reading the actual Getting Things Done book and am convinced that I ought at least to give it a whirl. The idea of ruthlessly keeping the mailbox and other sources of angst clean, immediately dealing with, deleting, incubating, or delegating incoming “stuff,” and totally outsourcing your worry center, all sounds really good to me.

Except, of course, the one really good source of tips I have for GTD, 43 Folders, is all about Mac based solutions. And in spite of my long standing Mac userdom, my work environment is still a Windows XP PC running Outlook.

So I’m going to give some Outlook based solutions a whirl and talk about how they work over the next few days. First off, a few pointers to existing resources, since I’d rather not reinvent the wheel:

  1. The 43 Folders wiki has a page on GTD in Outlook
  2. A great, if old, summary page on setting up GTD in Outlook
  3. The official ($10) resource from David Allen Company on GTD and Outlook
  4. Managing GTD projects in Outlook
  5. Tips, tricks, and other hints in Outlook
  6. An actual GTD add-in