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How I get things done

I partition the world into two sets of people:

  1. People who I can rely on to Get Things Done, in a Fire and Forget mode
  2. Everybody else

I am not passing judgement on either groups – people behave as people do, and it is not my role or desire to try to change anyone else. However, I can try to belong to the first group of people, and I prefer to work more with people from that group, as it’s just so much easier for me to manage my communications with them.

This is what I do to get myself into Group 1:

  1. I start by using Inbox Zero, and keeping my inbox clean and empty.
  2.  Whenever I ask someone a question or delegate a task to them, I use a service such as SaneBox or FollowUpThen to make sure that person will reply. It’s really easy – just BCC, and this email will pop up in your inbox after three days, if you haven’t received a reply by then.
  3. I keep myself honest. Sometimes it’s hard to follow the above rules, especially when my inbox gets blown with incoming emails. Still, no matter how much it is crowded, I never cheat by archiving an email without doing it. If I have too much inbox overflow, I just forward some emails to SaneBox and postpone these emails, thus giving me the empty inbox I need in order to remain a Type I Person.

I’ve been using this methodology for a few years now, and it has served me well (I hope you would categorize me as a Type I Person). If I work with someone who is also a Type I Person, I rarely need to actually follow up on anything with them, because I know they get things done at the right time. I’m just so much happier working with such people, because their reliance simplifies my own work flow and allows me to achieve a lot more through delegation.

What are you guys using? How well is it working for you?


  1. Alex C.:

    Thanks a lot for the informative data.

    I learn from every post you write.

    Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

    Keep up with the excellent work.

    Alex C.

  2. ripper234:

    Happy to share, thanks for the support.

  3. Tali S.:

    Hey, is the 3d interchangeable (with xd)?
    And do I need to sign up to anything before using it?
    Testing it out, don’t wanna wait 3 days to find out 😉

  4. ripper234:

    Tali – just read the documentation, you can use many different syntaxes.
    Also Sanebox can add all the various shortcuts to your auto-complete address book.

    With FollowUpThen there’s no need to sign up before using it. I think SaneBox might require signup (it’s a paid service).

  5. ponetium:

    I guess I am type 2 person. I never have enough motivation to do anything, at least for myself…
    Keeping my inbox with low amount of e-mails helps a little, in wasting the nano amounts of motivation I have for useful stuff, but sometimes I just find myself forwarding something again and again to FUT.
    I envy people who can actually do stuff and all, they are really awesome in my eyes. 🙂

  6. ripper234:

    I get into period of low motivation every now and then, with my inbox piling up, forwarding to FUT all the time, and just not being productive. It happens.

    I’m lucky enough to have found my dream job and have excess amounts of motivation, but that hasn’t always been the case.

    I suggesting finding the few things important to you and focusing on them.