An Email Trick That Will Clear Your Mind

Probably the single most cluttered thing we have now is our email box. The amount of mail that can accumulate in our Inbox can easily accumulated to over 1,000 and that does not include spam! The physical clutter is just part of it. Trying to find a particular email is a nightmare. In addition, there is an immense psychic drain when one looks at pages upon pages of emails. So, how can one alleviate this?

One way is to just categorize your email into different topic areas.  This addresses the psychic energy drain, but it can be difficult to enforce. I see people that have 20-30 categories. Here is the solution:

Create three categories: Action, Waiting For, & Archive

Whether you are using Outlook or Thunderbird, create the following folders: @Action, @Waiting For, & Archive.  Note that the @ symbol makes sure Action and Waiting For are positioned alpha-numerically higher than Archive.

@Action represents all the activities that cannot be done at the moment, but are important will be done.

@Waiting For represents emails that action can not occur until another person or event completes.

Archive is where everything else that is not deleted is stored.

Maintain the system

It is important that one regularly moves items out of the Inbox and into the appropriate folder. In addition, the Action and Waiting For folders must be updated every couple of days. At the end of each day, there should be no messages in the Inbox. Doesn’t the sound of that make you feel good!!

Further categorization

Subfolders can be added to the Archive folder if one desires, but it just adds another degree of maintenance and difficulty. Retrieval To retrieve files out of the Archive, one just needs to enter that folder and perform a search. The Archive folder can be a great resource for storing emails that one may need in the future.

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