Deal Effectively with Sent Mail

wrote this on August 3, 2014
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All too often we hear about processing our email inbox.  Inbox Zero is thrown around like it is the holy grail of productivity. It’s a topic that I’ve written about many times, so I am not saying anything bad about Inbox Zero ;-)

But what about our Sent Mail? Why do we overlook this source of potential ball dropping?

Tired of Reading – click here for the video

If you think about it, most of the time that we hit the Send button, we are asking others to do things for us…aka delegating.  How are you keeping track of all your outgoing requests?

I can tell you from personal experience, that many times in the past, I suddenly recall an email that I sent to someone who has not responded.  This often may impact the progress of my own tasks and projects.

Some people actually go to their Sent Mail and copy the outgoing requests into Tasks, but this is very time consuming, and, quite honestly, a bit annoying.

Email Macros in Full View

Using macros (aka email shortcuts), you can automatically create Actions, Waiting For items, etc. as soon you press Send.  In essence, when you press send three things happen:

  • Email is sent
  • Action (or Waiting For see below) is created in your Action List
  • Sent email is linked to the newly created Action

You can even update reminders, due dates, etc. prior to sending the email.

Edit Macro before sending

Here’s the action that was created in your list.  Notice the Due Date and Context have been filled in.  Your sent mail is linked to this Action, so you can always get back to it if you have not received a response.

Action in list view

Waiting For versus Actions List?

If you follow GTD®, you most likely separate items that you have delegated to someone else into your Waiting For list.  There are many reasons to do this; but in my opinion, the most important reason is not to clutter your Action lists with items that you can’t do anything about…

Many other users who have never heard of GTD® or don’t practice every facet of it, may just add it to their Action Lists; either way is fine…as long as it works for you.

Waiting For Macro

Below is the waiting for item that’s been added to the list.  Notice, that Dan, the person to whom we sent the email to has been automatically set as the Delegated To.


Waiting For

  Quick Departing Tips:

  • Once Macro is selected, use Ctrl + Enter to send.
  • Learn to create your own macros – video
  • Macros can be used on the web app and iOS and Android apps.
  • Right-click on any macro to hide from view.



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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.

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