eProductivity Weekly Tip: January 20, 2011   

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Weekly Tip: Date-stamp Your Actions for Easy Review

It can be helpful to be able to scan down your project or action lists and see at a glance when specific items were created. This lets you quickly see outdated items or as we'll show you below, identify which Waiting Fors are really old and in need of followup.

eProductivity provides this functionality through date-stamps. Let's dive into how this works.
How to Use Date-stamps
As we'll see later, you can choose to have date-stamps appear for all projects & actions, just Waiting Fors, and not at all. Let's see how this works for Waiting Fors.

We've just ordered a new book from Amazon, so we create a new Waiting For to track this and get it off our mind. Because we have date-stamps turned on for Waiting For items, when we save our new action, the date-stamp is automatically appended...

Date-stamp created upon save

The date-stamp shows when the action was created. Because it's placed on the subject line, at a glance we can see this information when scanning our Waiting For list.

Glance through the date-stamps on your lists

It's helpful to quickly see the age of our Waiting For item. For example, let's say that two weeks go by and the book still hasn't arrived. When scanning through our lists during a Weekly Review, we see this item is still outstanding and now a couple of weeks old. Rather than just keep going, this triggers us to follow-up on the item, perhaps with a quick email asking where the book is at.

So appending date-stamps can be a excellent trigger to help keep your system fresh and current, and make sure nothing is falling through the cracks.
Enabling Date-stamps
Date-stamps are enabled (surprise, surprise) in the eProductivity preferences on the Projects & Actions > Other tab.

Date-stamp preference options

As you can see, you can choose what projects & actions, if any, that date-stamps should be enabled for. Play around with the settings and see what meshes best with your work style.
Until Next Week...
We've seen how date-stamps provide a quick mental trigger that helps in keeping your system current. More to come next week!

If you have a tip to share or a topic you'd like to see covered, please let us know. We'd love to hear from you!