Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be a clean inbox zealot

Look around at yourself and your colleagues, I bet that there is a strong correlation between inbox cleanliness and responsiveness.



Storage is cheap these days. Many corporate and internet services now offer huge email storage plans. Why delete email? You virtually never need to clean your inbox again. That's great, right?

I have two email boxes, my personal email uses GMail and my business email uses an internal corporate service.

On my GMail account I hardly ever delete anything. I can always go back, do a search and find it. There are few things in my personal box that are truly critical. If something gets missed down the list it isn't such a big deal. But, it is a mess.

I treat my business account different. Since I have a lot of critical, time sensitive tasks that pass through my inbox, and because it is my task list, I can't just keep letting it pile up. If I do, I lose things. If you receive dozens or hundreds of messages a day it doesn't take long for an important one to slip too far down the scroll bar list to remember.

I am a clean inbox zealot. I learned this skill from my CEO, who also swears by it.  It is my obsession to keep my inbox below 20 items. The ultimate goal is having no scroll bar! If it stays below that level I can usually keep a handle on what is going on. Past that and things start piling up.

Look around at yourself and your colleagues, I bet that there is a strong correlation between inbox cleanliness and responsiveness.

I'm not saying that you should delete all of you messages. That isn't practical.

I used to be a folder organizer. I had a stack of folders in my mail client for every conceivable topic. That worked well but it was a lot of effort. Since search programs are so good now I have switched to a super simple folder structure.

  • Inbox
    • Daily Operations
    • HR
    • Projects
Everything gets sorted into one of the three sub-folders as soon as it is actioned. With the magic of Outlook's conversation view I can sort emails away and they pop back into the conversation when I get a reply.

Question: How do you keep up with your inbox? 

1 comment:

  1. Museum workers used Windows tablets to take 3D scans of the sculptures to the children’s bedsides. Patients have been place to} interact with the digital models and use them as a base for their very own designs. The completed projects have been then Unclog Toilets Fast printed in 3D within the playroom for the children to see and feel. 3D printing is the method of creating a bodily, three-dimensional object from a digital model. New designs may be created, or current objects may be scanned and reproduced.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome your stories comments or suggestions.