You might think: that’s impossible?! You must not get an email!!
Well, I get a fair amount of email every day. This is how I deal with it.
First off, I go through and delete all the email I don’t need to work on and don’t need to keep a record of. That helps alot.
Second, I go through all the email I don’t need to work on but DO need to keep a record of. I select that email and then have a Lotus Notes agent file all that information.
Finally, I go though the email I have remaining and write out my todo list for the day. I reply to the email I need to reply to right away, and I file the rest. The point is to work off the Todo list, not use the Inbox as a todo list, for it is a very inefficient one at best.
For people who use Lotus Notes, here are the details:
1) I select all my email and mark it all unread. Now I have an inbox full of Red. I change the setting from View All to View Unread.
2) I go through the list and click Insert on all the email I want to file. As I do this, my Inbox starts to decrease. I can do this very quickly.
3) I select all on the remaining Unread items and then have an agent move them to a temp directory.
4) I change the setting from View Unread to View All. These are all the emails I want to file.
5) I have two folders I file things. One is called File and one is MyCurrentProject. I sort by name and then select all the people from MyCurrentProject. That will be the bulk of my email, and mostly every email from someone on my project will pertain to my project. I have another agent that grabs all the email selected and throws them into the MyCurrentProject folder. Then I select the rest of the files and throw them into File with still another agent.
At this point my Inbox is down to Zero. I have one last agent that takes the files in the temporary folder and puts them back in my inbox. But I also could leave them in my temp folder and work on them from there.
The trick is not to have email hanging around. Treat email like dirt: the way to keep you inbox clean is to regularly sweep it out so the dirt doesn’t accumulate. 🙂