Last weekend I came across another Inbox Zero post. Well, I decided it was time to audit my Email usage. What struck me as surprising was how many minutes I logged on Monday.
- Monday: 47 minutes
- Tuesday: 30 minutes
- Wednesday: 25 minutes
- Thursday 17 minutes
Unsurprisingly, as the week progressed I dwindled that number down to by Thursday.
I already aggressively apply David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology to my workflow by automatically filtering emails to “buckets” so I thought 47 minutes was pretty high.
As for the post referenced above suggesting you need four apps to automate your life. I can narrow that down to one app and pen to paper.
Choose your favorite email client, that’s it.
- If you work in an organization
- filter external email addresses to an external email folder, much of it will be spam anyway.
- filter internal “all staff” distribution list emails to an All Staff folder
- What remains in your inbox should be mostly actionable emails directed to you personally by a human.
- Drag what you need to do to a Review folder
- Drag what you don’t need to act upon to an Archive folder
- Drag what needs review in the future to a Waiting folder, check it once or twice a week.
- Reading or Reference material can go in either the Waiting or Review folder depending on the urgency
- If you freelance
- Add all your known client email addresses to a safe list and keep it maintained
- You can then filter them directly to your Review folder or leave them in your Inbox for manual sorting
- Filter known non-urgent emails such as newsletters, social media, and similar to a Casual folder and try to only look at it once a day
- Anything that can’t be sorted should make it into your Inbox for quick manual sorting
- Lastly Use a simple notebook or notepad for task logging, I like to use the Bullet Journal‘s core system. No fancy designed apps or notebooks here. Just a pocket notebook