Personal Productivity for Lawyers
This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.
Lawyers generally have more work than time and also tend to get overwhelmed by an overflowing inbox. You can take control of your inbox and workflow by keeping an empty inbox. You can also use Google’s Priority Inbox or another service to sort your incoming mail.
A new option, NudgeMail, could be an option for admitted procrastinators.
How it works
NudgeMail does not require downloading, installing, or running, a program on your computer. Essentially, you forward mail to NudgeMail and tell it when to send them back to you. There are two ways to accomplish this.
You can send an mail to email@example.com and in the subject box, indicate the day, date, or time when you want the email to pop into your inbox again. If you want mail to be returned tomorrow, you would put “tomorrow” in the subject line.
You can also send mail with the day, date, or time as part of the address. For example, you can send an e-mail to the address “firstname.lastname@example.org” and NudgeMail will take care of the rest.
It is currently in Beta phase, which means it is free for now, but the company has indicated they will offer both free and paid versions in the future.
NudgeMail is beneficial if used sparingly
The purpose of keeping an empty inbox is to force yourself to tackle those annoying short tasks and to organize other e-mails so that you handle them effectively. Using NudgeMail to simply having work reappear later does not solve the problem. Frankly, it could actually make things worse.
In limited circumstances, it could be helpful. If something needs to happen in a week or a month, having the e-mail reappear could be nice. Pushing things back a few hours could simply lead to pushing it back again and again. In other words, if used to help remind you of certain things, it could be useful. If you merely use it as a crutch and a way to postpone work, it will probably accentuate the issue.
Be mindful of security and reliability
Confidentiality is an issue. Where do your e-mails go and does anyone read them? I would also be worried about reliability. When you put something on your calendar, you know that you have successfully recorded it. If you send something to NudgeMail, what happens if it never comes back?
NudgeMail looks promising if used sparingly, but be mindful of complete reliance.