Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Useful Site / Email Ninja Skills

Time for a next installment on Getting Things Done (GTD). It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the top challenges of our age is sifting through information to mine out what we need. How do you sort through all the junk and marginally useful info to get to the handful of gold? How do you face all piles of paper, or the heap in your inbox to end up with practical, useful information that you can find at the moment it is required?

There are many sites that discuss the GTD principles and share tips and tricks for making life's stuff * easier to handle. But the one I've come across that is the most fun and that is most useful for me so far is 43folders.com. What I like in addition to keen advice by Merlin Mann, a productivity expert in his own right, is that the site takes a community approach where people chime in and share their personal takes on how to implement the principles. The great thing is that though people are able to post, the site still is nice to look at, unlike a lot of bulletin board themed sites. It also appears that there must be some sort of editing process, because I've not yet run into anything that seems off topic or distracting. There is a lot of humor used to keep things light and playful, but be warned, at times it can be a bit crass, if funny. Nothing beyond what you'd see at a PG movie though.

Email is one topic that gets a lot of play on 43folders since it has become a primary means of communication, and a source of a huge amount of our information. So how do you become an email Ninja who can effectively take care of business, and not end up with a very organized maze of folders where your need info gets placed, never to be seen again? This article Five Fast Email Productivity Tips is a good place to begin. My guess is that many of you will end up following links until you've bumped into the areas you most want to go more smoothly. Don't forget to come back and visit Awareness * Connection. In fact, go ahead and put that on your "Soon" next action list.

* David Allen defines "stuff" in GTD as anything that you have allowed into your physical or psychological world that you haven't yet figured out how and when to take action on, or with.

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