OutLinker Update: Process your Microsoft Outlook inbox with one click

Getting In to Empty: Getting “IN” to empty doesn’t mean actually doing all the actions and projects you’v collected. It just means identifying each item and deciding what it is, what it means, and what you’re going to do with it”. (David Allen, Getting Things Done, Page 119).

David Allen stresses that your should process your inbox by starting at the top and working your way down — no skipping the hard stuff and cherry picking the easy or interesting stuff.

  • Process the top item first
  • Process one item at a time
  • Never put anything back into “in”.

Now OutLinker can help you keep that discipline.

The original macro was designed to move one item at a time over to GyroQ for entry of the next action, but by sending information directly into MindReader, the latest version can loop one by one through as many items as you choose to select. This means you can bite the bullet, select all 100 items in your inbox, and bungee jump into making “Next Action” decisions on all of them. The items will end up in your MindManager in-trays (based on your destination keywords), so you’ll have another shot at processing them, but it always helps if the next-action comes alive in your dashboards immediately if possible.

In order to enable the looping feature above, I also added the ability to “archive” or “delete” un-actionable messages by typing those strings as the next action. “Archive” just sends the message to the same folder that the other messages are headed to without sending an action/link to MindManager.

The other change is that the code now defaults to use a single “MindReader” prompt to enter the next action along with any bracketed keywords that you like (the same way you would use the GyroQ “q” tag). I and others were finding that, while it is nice to have the sender/addressee extracted automatically, stepping through the additional prompts and reaching for the mouse was more of a distraction. You can toggle back to using the resource prompts by changing the “oneprompt” parameter at the top of the code. One power user is currently is working on developing a comprehensive form to gather these choices in one step.

Be careful with the new code until you’ve tested it out on some junk mail – it’s hot off the press. Keep the suggestions and bug-reports coming.

Happy Holidays,


P.S. With all the MindJet SP1 upgrades and downgrades going on, it might be a good time to review the Version 7 Setup Tips on the wiki.

Leave a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.