If you are a fan of both MYN and GTD, Michael Linenberger has a guide for integrating both into your workflow:
“My strong encouragement to use next actions in your MYN Now-Tasks list (see Lesson 6 in my Outlook book) is about the extent of the obvious overlap between MYN and GTD. MYN’s unique approach to task management is otherwise a quite different system. But they can easily be used together and so you can get the best of both. If you are a GTD user and are looking for more ways to integrate MYN with GTD, here are some ideas on how to do that.”
For more information on MYN and ClearContext, see our TWC partner page. Download our free Outlook GTD setup guide here.
In addition to the product-wide improvements in v5.1, the release introduces an exciting new feature for TWC customers – single folder filing! As TWC followers are aware, filing to a single folder is a core feature of Michael Linenberger’s methodology. Use ClearContext filing buttons to assign categories and file to your processed mail folder. Download the TWC version here.
Some TWC/MYN v5.1 upgrade notes:
- Single folder filing is enabled by default. To continue to file to individual project folders, go to ClearContext > Options and uncheck "File all messages to root folder"
- By default, the MYN Powered version files all messages /Inbox/Processed Mail. Change the folder you file to in Root Folder for Filing and Projects in ClearContext > Options. Note that if you previously designated a different root folder here (i.e. /Inbox) single folder filing will file to that folder instead of Processed Mail.
- If you are using the default TWC toolbar, filing buttons will appear after the upgrade. If you customized the toolbar, you may need to add these buttons via ClearContext > Options > UI/Toolbar.
Michael has posted a wealth of information about v5 on his website. Start here.
As long time readers are aware, we are big fans of partner Michael Linenberger’s no-nonsense approach to email and task management. This week he has released a new productivity book, Master Your Workday Now! Michael’s new book outlines an approach for overcoming overwhelm and achieving your highest level goals. From www.masteryourworkday.com:
“Within minutes of picking up this book you will:
- Get more done, more quickly (and then get home earlier)…
- Eliminate overwhelm (because it’s impossible to accomplish the critical, big-picture tasks when you’re buried under an avalanche of ‘minutiae’)…
- Develop hyper-focus, and concentrate on the task-at-hand (so you’re less prone to distraction from outside influences)…
- Create, and master, a more productive life…
- Have your day support your goals.
- Restore much-needed sanity to your work life…
- Instill order and sense to your daily tasks and e-mail …
For a limited time, Michael is including a free bonus video and other gifts when you order Master Your Workday Now! See MasterYourWorkday.com for more detail.
The second edition of Michael Linenberger’s #1 best-selling Outlook book, Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook, has been released today. See the announcement here. In conjunction with the new book, we have released a new TWC-powered version of ClearContext. Details below.
In the 2nd edition of Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook, Michael introduces an entirely new theory of task management that he calls Manage-Your-Now! (MYN for short). Here’s what he has to say about the new system:
"…it is a system to successfully manage the overload of work that you have on your plate right now. It truly does help you manage that period of time you tend to be most anxious about: your now. It helps you choose what tasks to do now, what e-mail to focus on now, what not to worry about now. You gain confidence that the important tasks are attended to, which greatly lowers any anxiety you might have about your workday."
I had the pleasure of reviewing the book before it was published and found that the MYN system perfectly articulates the way that I have managed my tasks for years; providing focus on the things that must be completed in the next week or so and pushing everything else outside the "Now Horizon." MYN puts process behind this concept to ensure that you stay focused on your immediate tasks without dropping the ball on anything coming over the horizon. For a more thorough look at the theory, see this sample chapter from the book.
MYN-powered ClearContext IMS for Microsoft Outlook
In conjunction with Michael Linenberger, ClearContext has developed an MYN-powered version of ClearContext IMS. The new release comes pre-configured to support the MYN system and includes 14 new custom Outlook views, a customized TWC toolbar, tighter integration of TWC teachings in the product, and much more. See our TWC partner page for more detail. If you have questions about the new product, ask about them in our forums.
We are very excited about the release of Michael’s new book and our software to support it. If you are looking for a comprehensive, end-to-end task management methodology, check out the new Manage-Your-Now system and MYN-IMS v4.
OK, so this post is me admitting that we all cheat a little on inbox processing sometimes…
In the Manage phase of the Daily Workflow, we explicitly advise that you act on each message quickly or convert it to a task or appointment and file away the original message. The idea is to process the message when you first look at it so that you can get it off your mind and out of your Inbox and you don’t waste mental cycles dealing with it. There is one expert-use case where this doesn’t make sense.
When you encounter a message that you know you want to respond to today, but you either need to think on it a bit or you don’t have time to answer right now, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to convert that message to a task. Flag this message via a right click so that you know that you looked at it and you’re waiting to process. Then, at the end of the day, go through each flagged Inbox message to answer and file.
I got this idea from Michael Linenberger, author of Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook and ClearContext partner, who has this caveat:
"If the reason you are not responding is there is some other task-like action needed first to fulfill the request, then better is to convert the e-mail to a task, and plan on working the task, and then reply immediately saying ‘I need to do xyz before I can get back to you on this; I will get back to you as soon as possible’ or some such reply."
See the manage tag on our weblog for more tips on optimizing your implementation of the IMS Daily Workflow.
Michael Linenberger, author of best-selling Microsoft Outlook book Total Workday Control and ClearContext partner, publishes a newsletter chock full of Outlook tips and ways to leverage the TWC system. In the latest he talks about IMS v4 and how it works with TWC. If interested, you can sign up to receive the newsletter at the link at the bottom of the page.