Followupthen is a great new feature that can incorporated into your GTD system. FUT (because it’s easier to type) is a service where you send them an email with the date/time/frequency you wish to recieve an email followup, and they will email you that followup when you need it.
As an example, say you just finished meeting with your Family Medicine Interest Group, and you wanted to follow up with one of them, say Jessica, about a question she had. You don’t have the resources now, but you will probably forget when you go home (as you should, this information should not be stored in your head!) You would just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “email info about residency spots to Jessica.” At 6pm, you would get an email from FUT reminding you to do that. There is a place to postpone that reminder, say if you were out at dinner until 8pm.
FUT has a great How To Use guide, so I don’t want to get into too much detail there. I think it’s a great service. What I want to focus on is incorporating it into an EN-GTD system. Ideally, that followup should be entered into EN with the Next tag. Technically, if you wanted to “schedule” the followup, the correct process would be to create a calender event for 6pm, and create the EN note with a Scheduled tag. Incorporating FUT into your EN-GTD system adds a much needed level of awareness to some of your tasks. Let’s see how this process works in action!
Here’s your basic setup, before the meeting begins:
Now, let’s create a new note for the meeting minutes. I don’t really know how to take good meeting minutes, and I’m more of a fan of minutes.io because it looks nice. Anyway, you are in your meeting, taking notes…
Now Jessica asks you this question about how many residencies there are in Sacramento. That info is at home, so you create a note with a Next tag:
Now let’s create an email message by clicking the button indicated with the red arrow. Select “email note” and fill in the To: box with “email@example.com”. I like military time, removes ambiguity.
That’s it! For demonstration sake, I changed it to firstname.lastname@example.org so I could show you what the email looked like. First the confirmation that you set up a reminder. This is an optional setting you can turn off:
And Finally, the reminder email (which in our example, would come at 6pm):
So, how do you see yourself using FollowUpThen? Please let us know in the comments!