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TabCloud – Chrome extension that saves groups of tabs for later use. So if you’re in the middle of researching something but need to change gears you can retrieve your tabs.
Gmail – lots of systems you can use here, but this is what has been working for me for years. I turned on flags in the preferences and set up color codes that mean different things. Yellow means “follow up”, red means “urgent”, orange means “waiting for someone else but can’t lose track of it”. I also have my inbox set up so that flagged items appear at the top so I basically have my email todo list right in front of me. Boomerang is also really useful, as are email filters.
Todo – any task that is requires more than a simple email reply goes into my todo list. I use Appigo’s Todo, but other people swear by Wunderlist, Todoist, etc. They’re basically the same.
Evernote – anything I want for later reference gets clipped to Evernote using the Chrome extension. I used to tag and organize everything, but I don’t bother anymore – it’s search feature is strong and it’s easy to find things.
There’s more but those are my favs. Hope it helps!
This is a very real problem and I totally know what you mean. “True” GTD is meant to take care of that with a Review phase. I use OmniFocus and it helped me a lot because each project can be set to be Reviewable in a specific number of days/weeks/months, meaning I can “know” that it’s all going to resurface eventually. If you don’t have a Mac then you can’t use OmniFocus (though the iPhone/iPad app is excellent too). I think having a review system of any kind would help you here, so long as you actually use it. Have a list of items that you MUST review every 30 days, every 10 days, etc., and then be diligent about doing so.
I have this same problem. I still need some better ways to deal with it, but I have some techniques.
For some stuff, I do keep a list so I’m not leaving tabs open. I have a spreadsheet on my Google drive for restaurants I want to try sometime. I am used to referring to it when we are planning a dinner out. The list has to be easy to use, so for that one I have columns for type of food, price range, general location, proximity to home. So it’s not overwhelming to look at if I’m just craving Thai food and running an errand near the mall.
If it’s something I want to keep in mind but don’t need in my face constantly, I set reminders in Gmail inbox for a couple weeks later so I don’t forget. Snooze reminders as needed for a couple weeks later. If at some point it’s clearly never going to be something I will act on, time to let it go. Delete. You could do this with Outlook reminders and tasks if you don’t use Gmail.
Try session buddy.
It won’t do everything you described you needed, but I think it will help.
> Manage Browser Tabs and Bookmarks with Ease
> ● Save open tabs and restore them later. Great for freeing up memory and avoiding clutter.
> ● Recover open tabs after a crash or when your OS restarts your computer.
> ● Manage open windows and tabs in one place.
> ● Organize saved tabs by topic.
> ● Search open and saved tabs to quickly find what you’re looking for.
> ● Export tabs in a variety of formats suitable for emails, documents, and posts.
> ● Save or open a list of URLs from the clipboard or a file.
GTD touches on this point a bit. It discusses how the reason our mind drifts to these tasks continuously and ultimately why we don’t use a system (even though it “makes sense), is because we don’t trust to keep our system up to date or check it regularly enough.
I use combination of Todoist and Pocket for tasks and saving articles for later. They’re both really great because they have simple integrations in almost all my applications and browsers that let me quickly add anything as a task.
Anything that feels like I have to *do* something with, I will simply add to my “Inbox” in Todoist. On my phone, it’s available through the share icon; in my email, I simply forward the email to my “inbox” email address; if it’s a web link, I can either copy/paste it as a task or use the “Add website as task” option in the extension.
Anything that I just want to save for later and read, I’ll add to my Pocket in much the same way. Then, when I get bored or want to “feel productive” while traveling or something, I can just open my archive from the application, and start going through it.
At the end of the day, you need to *want* to use your system for it to be effective. You can help yourself along by pushing yourself to use the system. I do this by making sure to forward all my emails, web sites, articles, etc. to the system regardless of when I’m going to look at it. This forces me to go into it in order to find it again. You gotta go metacognitive and think about how you think. And then, set things up as best you can to trick yourself into doing it.
Lastly, GTD uses the Weekly Review idea that /u/dmaterialized mentioned. The thing that isn’t focused on as much is that it doesn’t need to be “weekly”, but rather as frequently as you need to in order to feel good about it. This is HUGE. If you’re stressing or feeling like you’re losing control of things a bit, feel free to do the review and make sure everything is how you want it.
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