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Using EN with Outlook to save and reply to emails.

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I've been using Microsoft OneNote at work for the past year or so, primarily due to the fact one of my colleagues uses it as well. I'll likely stick with OneNote for saving things to share with colleagues, but for my own GTD system I've been looking at going over to EN. Heck, all of my personal stuff is in there anyway. 


The background...


I use OneNote at work for the reasons mentioned above, but I take an Evernote Moleskine to all of my meetings. I've found it to be tremendously useful, especially in place of a generic notepad which always seemed to get messy, and I'd ultimately lose them or have trouble finding a particular page after a few days. With that in mind, it's kind of a no-brainer that I'd use the EN app to store my Moleskine notes - which I've been doing. 


The problem...


Due to the way in which I'm documenting things right now, I'm using two apps - OneNote (for GTD) and EN (for meeting notes). I think the use of just one would be easier. I'd switch to OneNote (for work), but their iOS app isn't the greatest and I find EN to be a bit more friendly where the power-user is concerned.  I'd switch to EN, but that's not without issue either. 


One of the best functions in OneNote is that I can drag an email from Outlook into a note. In doing so (because of the way I have it setup), it puts a "printout" of the email within the note, but it also saves the email file. That means I can quickly reference someone's email if need be, but I can also double-click the email file itself and quickly draft a reply. 


In Evernote, the only way I could find to duplicate this functionality was to follow the guidelines in this post: 




It works, but it requires more steps.


I guess the purpose of this rather long-winded post is to see how some of you use EN to track things for work. At the moment, it seems like it does meeting notes well, but responding to emails and GTD - not so well.

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Are you locked into using Outlook? This is very easy to do in Gmail but only works in Gmail (AFAIK - it might work in Outlook or OWA but we don't use it at work so I can't say). In Gmail, I can use the web clipper to clip the email, and it shows up beautifully in EN. Then I can simply click the note's URL and I'm back to the email in Gmail. 


If you are okay with giving up Outlook, you can set Gmail up to process your work email and use it that way. If you're set on still using Outlook, I'm not aware of any other option than what Gazumped replied in that other thread, unfortunately. But I'm woefully inexperienced with Outlook as I haven't used it in years, so I hope there is an option out there for you that I don't know :) 

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I'd love to use Gmail for my work email, but unfortunately that wouldn't fly. I work with data that is quite sensitive and my entire organization has strict policies regarding our customers data. We're all on Outlook for the foreseeable future. 


I guess a more general question would be, what are some GTD solutions that don't revolve around email so heavily? I could be approaching this from a slightly odd angle, but to me, the whole thing kind of centres around email because that's where a lot of my work comes from. Maybe I should view the entire situation differently?

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Well,  the Outlook situation works pretty well for me,  but I guess it depends on the volume of your emails...  My current process is to use the Add to Evernote button to transfer the content (that automatically includes attachments too,  and gives you a chance to set reminders!),  and the aforementioned drag and drop to desktop,  then into the new note to carry over the message.  I can do the same "Add to.." with appointments after I complete and Save them for my calendar.  (Don't use "Save and Close" - that way lies annoyance..)  You don't need to drag and drop appointments.  


Then,  as long as you consistently tag with or include a keyword (everything has a reference these days..) you can pull together threads as required.  The Reminder system will tell you when stuff comes due.


It's not a GTD system,  but then the basis for the system always was 'only adopt what you need' - and you can flesh out more with tags:  I use Now,  Soon and Sometime in addition to reminders so I can get clutter out of my head and into notes.  "Now" is shotgun time,  "Soon" means I really need to do that,  and "Sometime" is for my copious free time when I get some.


Most importantly This Works For Me.  It's simple enough to remember and apply reliably,  and more memorable too because it's something that I worked out for myself,  not following a trend of the month system I heard about on Twitter.  In fact I urge you not to use any of this - make up your own!



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Good points. I'm using slightly different tags as well within my own little "GTD" system. Although I must admit - Now means Now, Next means Later, and Soon means "Lost in the Pile for a little bit". 


Perhaps a slight re-work is in order.  <_<

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