The Working Inbox
Today, I was firing off a couple of emails when I noticed that the message count in the top corner said, “483 Messages”! I decided enough was enough and began doing some more research into managing my inbox. I checked up on lifehacker.com, 43folders.com, and a few others to see what was going on. One of the best words of wisdom I found, however, rested in Scott Hanselman’s blog.
Remember that your inbox is not storage, it’s a list of what hasn’t been categorized yet.
This is exactly what my inbox had become. Sure it was kind of handy to have every email that I have received in the past year within a couple of pages, but I thought there must be a better way to manage it. I will list a few of the resources that I picked up, but let me sum most of them up.
You have to find a system that turns the email you see into actionable items. Categorizing your email is a must. You have to decide, the moment you get the email, whether to defer, delete, do, or delegate. So you probably want to start a few more containing folders. Personally, I had an archive folder, and nothing else before my inbox makeover. I now have a few folders related to the 4 D’s and push the emails to them as they come in. The trick is making sure you check up on them frequently to decide when it’s time to finally delete them.
These links will fill you in on a lot of other great tips.
Inbox Zero - The ultimate, multi-article guide to getting your inbox to zero and keeping it that way.