It began with a tweet:
@IQTELL only 3 after today!
— Diane Ensey (@dianeensey) January 30, 2014
I So I checked out IQTELL and found out they were yet another GTD application. I’ve tried out dozens, but always returned to my less-than-optimal process of using my Gmail inbox as a to-do list. But IQTELL was free, so I tried them out.
After signing up I was presented with a kind of a checklist of short videos that got me started using IQTELL’s workspace. These are well done and you do need them. There is a bit of a learning curve to using the workspace, especially if you’ve been using another system. I linked my email addresses, calendars and Evernote to IQTELL and dove in.
Nearly all of my “to-dos” come through emails from clients. I’ve even trained family members to email me with things I need to do. Within the workspace it is simple to change these emails into actions because it comes with pre-loaded macros. With a couple of keystrokes I review an email message, delete it, quickly answer it if I can do it in less than 5 minutes or assign it to one of several macros:
- Make it a new stand-alone action,
- Add it to a pre-existing action,
- Make it an action that is part of a project,
- Make a whole new project from the email, or
- Save it as a reference
Boom! Each email takes about 5 seconds to review and put in the right place and as each macro runs it archives the email message in IQTELL and in your original email folder.
My inbox is now at zero, so I open the Action view screen. Here are a list of all of my actions and I can choose which ones I need to do today by clicking on a star. Once I have my action items I switch views to only see those items and drag them into order. As I accomplish them, click! They are archived.
The best part of this is the way emails can be collected together under an action or project. Remember where I said I could to add an email to a pre-existing action or a project? When I open that project or action I can see all of the emails I’ve associated with it. And here is where Evernote comes in: I can associate Evernote notes with the actions and projects, so collateral materials can be accessed from one spot. I can event associated the folder where the client website lives on my computer with the action or project.
This is what I’m loving about IQTELL and how I’m using it so far. As it has only been a week and a half I’m still both learning how to use everything and how to integrate it into my workflow. The first two days were rocky, but I’m beginning to wonder how I lived without it.