Dealing with emails

“No new mail! There’s always Google News if you’re looking for something to read.”

…that’s not a message I’m used to seeing. I used to leave email linked to something I needed to do in my inbox, but that’s really a bad way to go about dealing with emails.

I get a huge amount of email sent to my Gmail account daily (secondly accounts are also redirected there), I’ve been trying to work out a “system” for dealing with it for some. But even if you don’t get a massive amount of email, you should try to deal with it better.

One thing which has worked (I cant over state how well it has worked!…) is to set it so that all emails from mailing lists and etc are auto-tagged as ‘bulk’ (I’ve just changed this to ‘Can delete?’, as pictured below). So, when such emails arrive in my inbox I know they are likely have a low level of importance and I’m unlikely to want to archive them. Then, with a very quick scan, I can delete them in bulk.

That helped. But still I had high levels. A problem which has got considerably worse since returning to college (again) and becoming a DCU student. With the DCU emailing lists [snip… I guess this subject needs another blog post].

Along with the ‘bluk’ / ‘can delete?’ tag, I also created tags for different subjects — relating to games, tech, emails from contacts etc. But this didn’t really work. Unlike the ‘can delete’ tag, it wasn’t active.

Now thanks to the ideas behind 43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero I think things are going to be a lot better. (And a very lager thanks to Damien Mulley for the link to 43 Folders — in case the people who have told me about the site before are reading, yes you may have told me about it, but links are, I guess, more active).

Go and read the Inbox Zero series. Or watch the video — it says its nearly 60mins but a good deal of that is the Q&A, and anyway it’s really worth watching.

Simply put the idea is to keep your inbox clear.

Delete. Archive. Respond straight away. Or, if you really need to, send mail to a respond later folder. And don’t (as I used to) use your inbox as a to-do list or a diary/calendar — use a calendar like Google’s calendar which you can sent up reminders.

Anyway, I feel this is actauly going to work. Here’s hoping it does… now all I need is to sort out my RSS reader…