A Clean Inbox

Whew. I’ve finally reduced my inbox to EMPTY. That took a consistent effort over the last week. At the beginning of the week I was answering emails that were 3 – 4 weeks old. Bad. Very bad. Apologies to anyone I hadn’t responded to in a timely manner. I seriously get something like 100 emails a day which expect an answer or require an action and I need a better system. I wish Gmail had better auto-responding tools. Perhaps it might even be time to go back to combining Gmail with Outlook’s rules?

Ugh. Did I just suggest that? I must be losing it.

13 thoughts on “A Clean Inbox

  1. Have you tried [a href=”http://www.gtdgmail.com/]gtdgmail[/a]? It takes about 20 mins to get a handle on and input tags for your contexts, references and projects. It allows you to file everything and archive the rest getting you to a literally empty inbox. It adds menus right into the gmail ui which make it really easy to keep up with.

  2. What you need is a PA… failing that rather expensive measure for clearing inboxes gtdgmail is pretty good. That said its nothing that you can’t do yourself with gmails standard interface of labels starring things etc.
    Perhaps you should allocate a certain amount of time every day to just going through your inbox. File emails that are just reference, star those that need a response and if it only needs a quick response deal with it straight away.

    I actually quite like outlook although I’ve only been using it for a couple of years so I haven’t really had an opportunity to appreciate all of its flaws.

  3. Hugo – I did install it a while back but never really got into it. Good idea though, might give it another run.

    Mim – yeah, I need minions! Lots and lots of minions! Failing that… allocating time to do email is easier said than done. It never stops. It never, ever stops.

  4. You can make a policy of only checking your email once a day. I know its pretty hard (particularly if you’re as much of a communication junkie as I am) but there’s no reason why you need to see that email immediately. If anything is really urgent people will tend to call or txt.

    I get relatively little email however I can (and do occasionally) spend all day checking, responding, filing, rechecking just in case something else popped through etc. My dad gets STACKS of email. Stacks and stacks of it but he seems to stay on top of it.

    I think the trick is that he simply can’t sit at his desk all day checking email. Most of the time he’s in meetings, traveling etc. So he gets pretty good a prioritising and sending quick replies.

  5. Don’t forget to split your mail as well. Use a separate email address for newsletters, memberships, news groups etc. And ask friends to use a different email address than your TPN one. That way you can prioritise your incoming data flows.

  6. I made the big conversion to a gmail-only world a few moths ago, but I’m really, really missing some things that I took for granted in Outlook.
    I want the structure that comes with folders and rules, and I still miss the …ah.. feel of Outlook – the vibe…
    Don’t think I will go back, but I’m not convinced the gmail interface/functionality in it’s present incarnation will present a compelling reason for Outlook users to migrate in a hurry.

  7. GTDInbox as it’s now known (gtdinbox.com) now has a little 2 minute timer which starts automatically when you begin to compose an email. It both gives you a time reference by which to gauge your workflow and inspires you to achieve tha golden rule.

  8. hehe thanks for telling me that Hugo! I noticed that little timer this morning and wondered where the hell it came from!

    I’ve been playing with GTDInbox for the last few days and I really cant get my head around how I’m supposed to use it.

    You’ve got a handle on it?

  9. gmail is ‘unavailable’ again – for the third time in five days…
    I love the portability of this service, but I want the availability as well. I know there is a price to pay for using a free service but I am getting wary – and frustrated – that availability is becoming an issue.
    At the very least I will have to start getting my mail into offline storgae and this will probably mean a return to Outlook as the UI…

  10. In searching for sites related to web hosting and specifically comparison hosting linux plan web, your site came up.

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