Inbox as To-do List: Summary of what I heard

By: standss , Aug 11th, 2013

We asked our 30,000+ readers if they were using their Inboxes as To-Do lists, any problems that they had and any tips they could share with other readers.

Here’s a quick summary of what most of you have told us…

I NEED a way to use my Inbox as my Primary To-Do list.

I have tried using Tasks and Calendars but I keep forgetting to go and see what I need to do. I end up with too many reminders so I ignore them. But…

I go to my Inbox every day (probably too many times each day)…

WHY CAN’T I USE MY INBOX TO TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO DO… AND WHEN?

I should be able to use this to do what I need to do… and at the right time. But..

There are TOO MANY EMAILS in there! I can’t find what I need to do amongst them!

If I postpone something, it slips down the list and never gets done… or done late.

And what about follow-ups on emails I have sent… My Inbox can’t tell me about those. I have to remember to check my Sent Items… which is so easy to forget.

Is there a better way?

Some users have come up with clever tips to deal with these problems such as:

  • BCCing themselves on emails that need follow-up (so that the emails come back to your Inbox)
  • Flagging or marking emails as Unread (so that they look different from other emails in the Inbox)
  • Having a system of folders for different priorities (requires discipline which I personally don’t have)
  • … there were many more.

These tips work but unfortunately don’t fully solve the problem.

I had planned to release a report on this end of last week but it took longer to read through your responses than in my original plan. There have been so many great responses and ideas shared by readers. Thank You!

So… the report will now be out later this week… keep an eye on your Inbox.

Till then… have a great Outlook.

2 Replies to “Inbox as To-do List: Summary of what I heard”

  1. I’ve been reading the blog about using the Outlook In-Box as a to-do list. This is also my preferred method of keeping track of my actions. I use the category option and organize it this way… i.e. To Follow Up, Due Today, Due This week, ect.

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