Process your inboxes:

Email inbox

Look at every email in your inbox, and train yourself to quickly decide what to do with it:

  • Do – If it’s actionable, do the task. This could be simply replying.
  • Delegate – Forward it on.
  • Defer – Decide to do it later (snooze it until a concrete time).
  • Delete – If it could be deleted, do it. Always be reducing your inbox.
  • File – If necessary, tag it and set a reminder for later to process items in that tag.

BONUS: Read my complete guide to email productivity.

Evernote inbox

You should have a main notebook in Evernote called 'Inbox' which is the default place everything goes into. Forwarded emails, quick notes, images, etc.

Make sure to process these raw items to where they need to be, which includes:

  • 1
    Every item tagged
  • 2
    Every item given a proper title
  • 3
    Every item moved OUT of inbox

To-do list inbox

When you get items from your notebooks and emails, they go into your to-do list inbox to be processed as a batch.

After going through Evernote and your emails, process these items into your to-do list:

  • 1
    Prioritize or every item or mark it as 'someday'
  • 2
    Move every item out of your inbox and into the right project

Gather materials:

Weekly goal list

You need to have your weekly goal list to hand so you can later check in, and add next actions to each goal. 

Read more: A practical how-to for creating a weekly goal list

Done list

Your done list helps you frame the next week by seeing the amount you accomplished last week.

BONUS: Read about the power of the Done List

Loose papers, miscellaneous material

Get your notebook out, find any loose notes you might have scattered around the place, or check your other apps for material that needs processing.

Stuck choosing the best notebook app? Check out my comparison of Evernote vs OneNote.

Update your lists:

Check off all done items

You might have items on your to-do list that you don't know are done. Run through and mark them properly now.

Process upcoming tasks

Look at your tasks with a due-date, and prioritize them. Do they need to be done next week?

Add a due-date, add them to your calendar if necessary and update any due-dates that were unrealistic or unnecessarily harsh.

Follow up on 'waiting’ tasks

Pester people you're waiting on, giving them a deadline if you need to. Don't let your list stack up with 'waiting' tasks.

Add next actions for each goal

Look at your weekly (or long-term) goals list. Add next actions to each goal to keep everything flowing.

Double-check your done list

Have you missed anything? Is it really done? Quickly process your done list to be 100% sure you've not tripped up.

Prepare for the future:

Prioritize ‘someday’ tasks

'Someday' doesn't mean 'never'. It's time to either delete those tasks or set yourself a deadline / priority. Otherwise, it literally does mean 'never'.

Capture new ideas, projects and items

A busy working week can get your head spinning and leave you full of ideas with no time to capture them. Now's the time.

Check if the process was optimal

It's very important to make sure that you've made a process worth using! I haven't really outlined a specific process in this template for a good reason: you need to do it yourself and find out what works for you. 

Did it take you too long to process your inboxes? Are you using the right tools? This is an essential part of the weekly review.

Next action: Read our guide to creating a process you actually want to use.

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