View Full Version : Correspondence - emails, messages, phone calls


Swordson
03-19-16, 05:33 AM
Does anyone have any good ideas/advice on how to organize emails and messages? How to remember to answer them or follow-up as promised? (Maybe using an iPhone or MS Outlook in Windows)

So one thing I have always struggled with, and which continues to be a problem even post-diagnosis with meds, is correspondence. I have never been able to maintain any regular private correspondence with anyone by email, because I will always forget to answer at some point, or answer very late. The people I was exchanging emails with of course lost interest as well, as they felt I was ignoring them. Facebook has been a God-send for me, since it means I can keep up with long distance friends more easily - but still, sometimes you want that longer exchange, and I could never do it.

At work the problem is the same, just more frequent. My job involves a lot of emails, and I am responsible for a lot of external relations for my group. I get dozens of emails daily, and at any one time, I may be running 5-10 different processes or requests on wildly different topics or timelines. I have tried so many techniques and systems for organizing this, but none seem to work for me for more than a few days at most, meaning stuff quickly falls through the cracks.

Has anyone else faced this? Have you found any ways of addressing it that works?

Fuzzy12
03-19-16, 07:13 AM
At work I use kanbanflow, which is a sort of online task planner. I put all.my tasks on there so I don't forget anything even little things like writing emails or making phone calls or asking colleague a single question.

acdc01
03-19-16, 08:29 AM
Personally, I would schedule 3 times a day to strictly review and answer emails in your calendar as tasks with audio notification reminders like Fuzzy. This way you don't wait too long to look at an email in case there is an emergency and so you can strike out 2 out of 3 times a day and still succeed if you do remember the 3rd time.

I don't click on my emails at all until I have time to answer them (so read and answer at the same time). This way the email stays a bolded color if I haven't read them so I know I still need to deal with it.

I wish I could get myself to delete or move into a subfolder right away any emails I've already dealt with, but I'm quite bad at forgetting to do that still. So I clean them out on slower days.

As far as personal emails go, can you just tell your long distance friends you suck at remembering to email so lets just video chat or talk over the phone? It's more personable anyway. I don't know about you but hiding my ADHD symptoms is a lot of work so whenever I can just avoid a weakness, I do it.

DJ Bill
03-19-16, 10:26 AM
I constantly get phone calls and forget to return them quickly....Someone will call when I am busy or I get interrupted in a call by the boss, and I tell folks I need to call them back in a few.....(Minutes, days, weeks, years, it's all the same..) and then I forget.

I think I'm going to start telling folks to call me back in a few minutes because I am bound to get distracted...

Emails.....I get few enough it is not a problem.

roflwaffle
03-19-16, 02:03 PM
I use outlook at work and google calendar with the task add-on for my personal stuff. Google calendar used to support sync'ing with outlook, which was awesome, but they did away with that unfortunately.

I really want to go back to opensource, in part because of how awesome treesheets (http://strlen.com/treesheets/docs/tutorial.html) is, and also because the most widely used format for accessing a calendar seems to be via webdav (outlook)/caldav (everyone else). Fortunately, there's a caldav/webdav (kind of, read/write is supported by not suggested) server for linux called davical that I want to try out (http://www.davical.org/).

If it works for me, I can then have something like mulberry (http://www.mulberrymail.com/) on linux, outlook on windows, and maybe google calendar all syncing to my davical server, so I can simultaneously update a calendar from whereever, just like I do with google calendar, but have it tie into everything I could use. What's especially nice about this is that I can theoretically flatten and export some of my treesheets stuff to a CSV file, create a script to convert that into ical and/or CSV calendar formats, and import that into one of my existing calendars, which would theoretically be published to all calendars.

Swordson
03-20-16, 06:10 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys!

Some of these tools sound very interesting, though unfortunately my work network is kinda constricted - firewalls will stop lots of the online task management stuff. I have tried having some regular periods where I just answer emails, but the issue is that some emails need answering outside that as well, which means my structure breaks down at once, and I tend to sit during those periods and stare at the screen, wondering "was that all of them?" and usually, it isn't...:P

acdc01
03-20-16, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys!

Some of these tools sound very interesting, though unfortunately my work network is kinda constricted - firewalls will stop lots of the online task management stuff. I have tried having some regular periods where I just answer emails, but the issue is that some emails need answering outside that as well, which means my structure breaks down at once, and I tend to sit during those periods and stare at the screen, wondering "was that all of them?" and usually, it isn't...:P

Don't new emails show up in bold or can't you set your email system up that way? Maybe just get used to answering the email right when you open it then?


So you need to answer emails more often than say 4 set periods (one when you get to the office), one one hour before lunch, one right after lunch, then one starting one hour before you go home?

With eight hours in the day, that leaves only a maximum 3 hours between answering emails. People really need emails answered before then? That sucks.