Track emails you're Waiting On, until you get a response
The classic approach to sending an email is ‘Send & Pray’. But if you’ve taken several minutes composing a thoughtful email, it’s a big waste to have no way to ensure you’ve received a reply.
As David Allen says in Getting Things Done, "You'll get a great feeling when you know that your Waiting On list is the complete inventory of everything you care about that other people are supposed to be doing".
Track emails you're waiting on
- When you've written an email and you want to make sure you can track when the recipient replies, click the Waiting Until button at the bottom
- ActiveInbox offers a selection of common 'Waiting Until' dates to choose from or you can open the pop-out calendar and choose one from there
- If you'd like to cancel the reminder if the recipient replies, just put a tick next to 'Cancel if they reply'
- You can even add a Sub Task to remind yourself exactly what it is you're waiting for
- When you're done, click the Send button as normal
When Waiting Until emails are due
- When 'Waiting Until' emails become due, they'll appear in your Today list together with any extras - for example, Sub Tasks.
The Waiting On master list
- Once a week, it's worth checking your Waiting On list and pinging anyone who hasn't replied in the last couple of days.
What is the difference between Waiting On reminders and Due Dates?
Essentially, Due Dates mean “I have to complete this by day X, keep my attention on it as it approaches”. Whereas Waiting On reminders mean “This item is blocked until either something happens (e.g. they reply) or the reminder date occurs and I have to follow up, so keep it away from me - and off my mind - until either of those triggers occurs”.
You can apply both. For example, if you need to complete something by next Wednesday you could set a due date for then. But to help you complete it, you have to get information from a colleague, and so you send them an email and add a Waiting On reminder for tomorrow.
I’ve received a reply, and had checked ‘Cancel if they reply’, but why is it still in my Waiting On list?
ActiveInbox only removes the Waiting status when you actually open the email - to ensure you’ve definitely seen it.