Inbox Zero User Stories

Guest Post – Old school, new technology.

wrote this on September 11, 2014 / 2 comments

IQTell? Another productivity tool? Yes.

Yet another productivity tool? No.

This one makes email archiving like manual filing and physical photocopying.  Old school, new technology.

How does it feel like manual filing? When an email comes in (or goes out), you decide what you want to do with it, for example:

  1. Set up a new action
  2. Set up a few actions
  3. Append to an existing action
  4. Simply archive with no further action needed.

It also feels like physical photocopying: each email is attached as (virtual) copies under all its related action(s).  In time, you have a list of actions, and all the relevant email attachments.

Not a list of email subject lines anymore!

Email subject lines make bad action list:

  • You can’t edit them
  • You can’t split one into multiple actions
  • You can’t group a few under one action

(depending on what email service or client you use).

In using subject lines as action list, we end up with awkward lists, like, tasks, conversations, folders.

Productivity Flow

Productivity Improvement


I conduct training classes. And IQTell simplifies my class administration (I don’t have fully automated software yet), a process that used to tie me down to the table. My procedures with IQTell are as follows:

  1. Registration in: Create an action to schedule the participant for a class.
  2. Any additional correspondences: Link to action created earlier.
  3. Review action list and schedule classes.
  4. Payment: If payment not yet settled, create a context for that and monitor payment.
  5. Registration confirmed: If payment received or not required, send class confirmation and link email back to action.
  6. Awaiting class: Create a context for post-class admin.
  7. Class done: Follow up with any other administration.

Besides simplifying my administration and allowing me to work remotely, I now have a history of important email correspondences for each participant. And that enables me to follow up better with them, e.g., when a person does not show up for a class, when I wish to connect further with someone.

I’ve created a model that I find suitable for most other processes, e.g., enquiry.

  1. Trigger
  2. Communicate
  3. Batch process
  4. Wait (if necessary)
  5. Close
  6. Deliver
  7. Post-admin

Because of that, I ditched my first-generation iPad for a new iPad so that I could install the IQTell app.

Kenny Goh

Advanteach Learning Lap
give yourself an ADVANTAGE: Learn – Apply – Progress
workshop instructor | seminar speaker



I live and breath productivity. I'd like to invite you to check our Productivity App! In addition to the app, you'll join our productivity community and receive support from a team of productivity experts who love what they do! You can contact us on Google+ or on Twitter if you have any questions. As an FYI, we recently released an amazing feature that helps to process your emails quickly and effectively - we call it EZ Email processing.

2 Responses to “Guest Post – Old school, new technology.”

  1. TerryGauchat says:

    I still *miss* desktop version of Outlook an awful lot. While it may not have facilitated the best or most efficient GTD habits, the program runs very fast and I can drag and drop and multi-select, FAST indexed search, colorize, instant sort, print, etc., etc., and thus have a much smoother workflow of whatever task management habits I wish to follow. IQTELL’s web-based user experience UX (and *completely different* App UX…) is relatively TORTUROUS. I’m not exaggerating. While IQTELL is a powerful system and the user-interface has significant functionality, it is absolutely horrible to someone used to PC based programs. Very very frustrating and depressing.

  2. Rinish says:

    Great post on why email is NOT a productive way to manage one’s productivity. Excellent points all around. IQTELL is a fantastic productivity app and Bravo to the developers of the app for understanding GTD is something individual to the person and not the other way around.

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