Toolbox: After a ConferenceHow to get back into the workflow after time away at conferences.
Wow. Blackhat, Defcon, I didn’t make any of the other conferences going on in Vegas. And coming back it seems like there’s a sea of things to follow up on. A little bit of organization is helping me manage better this year, and so I thought I’d share what’s in my post-conference toolbox. I’m also sharing because I don’t think my workflow is optimal, and would love to learn how you're working through this in 2019, with its profusion of ways to stay in touch.
I've added a new first step relative to last year, which is to write a trip report, for myself. It captures who I talked to, impressions, followup, and value of the event.
Next, I have a stack of queues to process:
- Email. My inbox, but I also have a folder called “followup.” I move a lot out of my inbox to the followup folder so I can see it when I’m back from travel. (I also have a set of monthly sub-folders: followup/august, followup/september, they let me deliver when I say “I’ll get back to you in three months.”)
- Signal, iMessage. For both of these, I go back through the conversations I’ve had, see if I had followups or if I dropped the ball on someone.
- Linkedin. I get a lot of linkedin requests, and I’m a fairly open networker. Sadly, the UI works very poorly for me. I would love to hear about tools that allow me to effectively move messages to something other than a LIFO queue.
- Workflowy. I’m experimenting with this as a note taking tool, and it’s not bad.
- Business cards. I go through the whole stack of cards for todo items. I try to write notes on business cards. I discovered I did that on one of 6 cards where I remembered something. That’s not very good odds, and forces me to consider what I might have missed. Still exploring how to make best use of cards without notes. Advice really welcome here.
- Slack channels. Go through, look at DMs and channels.
- Calendar. For each meeting, think about the meeting, check my notes, see if I remember followups or things that didn’t make it to an email/workflowy note. And yes, there were several discussions that I know we discussed followups that I re-discovered by looking at my calendar.
- Photos. Photographs are the new note-taking, and so going back through pictures you took is important.
- Twitter, Facebook. I’m trying to break from Twitter, and don’t use Facebook, but I figured I’d include them here because they’re maybe worth remembering.
- Read Later queue in Instapaper (new!)
After the queues, as a consultant, I have customer work to get back to and sales contacts to followup on. I have expenses. I haven’t found an expense app that I really like, and so I stuff receipts in an envelope each evening, and then deal with them when I get home.
If I missed any followups, I’m sorry. Please reach out!
But more, I’m curious what works for you? What’s in your toolbox?