This program helps you implement the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology in Outlook 2007 by giving macros with hotkeys that you can use to quickly organize your email messages to folders under your Inbox. These macros are often activated by pressing a single character or combinations of Key Modifiers such as CTRL/ALT/Shift/Win and a key.
There are four main types of macros available in this script:
- Categorizing Messages – quickly assign categories
- Archiving Messages – quickly selecting groups of messages and moving them to various folders
- Jumping to Folders – quickly moving to common folders without needing to use the mouse
- Shortcuts to Common Tasks – other nice to have shortcuts
A lot of people implement that Getting Things Done methodology in different ways. I’ll describe how I configured Outlook for GTD for optimal workflow.
Note: This script is flexible and doesn’t require you do it in this way, but this how the default settings are configured.
In order to use the Categorizing macros you will need to:
1) Open the Categories window:
Go to the Actions Menu -> Categorize -> All Categories. (Or just press F2 when AutoGTD is running)
2) Create each Category and map it to a CTRL+Function key starting with CTRL+F3. For each one, click the New button and enter the category name below and then assign it to the hotkey to the right. (You can also assign a color, which is completely up to you on your preference.) Here is a list of suggested category names following the GTD methodology:
You can of course, customize this list with whatever categories you want. Now to test these, select a message and hold down CTRL and press F3 and see if it adds the category !Next to the email. If you can’t tell, you may need to add the Categories column. If it works, you can test each of the other categories you just assigned and make sure they are all working.
3) Last step. If you set up the categories listed above, then you can start using the AutoGTD macros to set them. Pressing the numbers on the keyboard should now toggle each category on or off.
If you customized your list, or would like to reassign the keys, you will need to edit the AutoGTD.ini file to configure the list of categories and hotkeys. See section below for Editing AutoGTD.ini for instructions.
Archiving and Jumping to Folder Macros
In order to use the Archiving and Jump To macros, you will need to configure the folders you would like AutoGTD to use. In my GTD implementation and default configuration of the script, are the following folders:
|Action||Where you move all your “to do” emails|
|Archive||Where you move all the other emails you want to archive|
|Read/Review||Where you store lengthy messages that you need to read but not right now|
|Someday/Maybe||This is your tickler file, where you put things that you don’t want to forget|
|Waiting For||Where you defer messages that other people have the next action|
|Reference||Where you store messages that you may want to refer back to. I keep this on my personal folder because of size restrictions on Exchange|
|Lists||Where you build your project lists. I usually use CTRL+SHIFT+s to Post a message to this folder|
By default, the AutoGTD.ini file contains configuration pairs such as:
With this format, you can customize which number on the keyboard will set which category.
To see the full list of mapped hotkeys, right-click on the AutoGTD taskbar icon and select “Show Cheat Sheet”, or press the hotkey CTRL+Shift+Space. From this window you can click the Change Hotkeys button to quickly edit the AutoGTD.ini file in Notepad.
Once you make a change and save this file you will need to reload AutoGTD for the changes to take effect. You can do this in two ways:
- You can use the Reload hotkey by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+`
- You can right-click the tray icon and select Reload
You will see the tray icon disappear and reappear again. Now your new hotkey settings will be active. If the new hotkey does not work, check the file again.
If you are having trouble and feel that you may have broken the file, you may rename it to a new name such as AutoGTD-bak.ini and restart AutoGTD. It will then create a new AutoGTD.ini file with the default configuration.
Also, if you only wish to use a subset of the available hotkeys, you may delete the other lines. Just make sure to keep the line “[AutoGTD]“. This line is required to be above any hotkey definitions.
For a thorough walkthrough of the AutoGTD.ini file, you can view the Macros page.