Next Quest - Stop Living in my Email

So I've updated my systems on note taking and filing with positive results. I continue to make observations in my work where I am getting bogged down. I have a classic block when I go to my email to get information like a reference to a formula or check for some context and end up side-tracked on 2 - 3 other messages that catch my eye. Opening email is a potential rat-hole for me. I don't have a lot of issues checking email a lot. I run and attend many meetings. However, when I do get some time to process emails or actually do work, this crops up. Specifically, this week I started in a task in my Now folder, (see my filing system for details) and popped over to email looking for some needed information and ten's of minutes later, I stopped when I realized I was off task in email.

This needs to stop. Early thoughts are to either copy or print to PDF the emails that have needed context, much like I would capture of file a document. This would get placed in the specific task folder in my Now Box.

One other watch-out is that I collect tasks with the clip-o-tron 3000 to omnifocus. This practice is fast in the processing phase but a potential land mine when I follow the link back to the email to get additional context as I tend to do.

All of this is counter to a brief look for email clients that are bettter and have a task manager built in. I gave boxer a look on the iphone. I know that Brett Terpstra see this post and Gabe Weatherhead at Macdrifter (see this post) have been looking a MailMate and Jeff Hunsberger at Technology Notes (see this post) have been looking a the email client situation. This was great reading and I started down this path but was stymied by the problem I described above and MS Exchange needed for work.

My conclusion is that my email options, MacMail and Outlook are a horrible place for me to focus. I want to get out to programs where I get things done.

So to summarize, I have my next quest. On with the show...