Let me explain.
The other day I look at my inbox and was horrified to discover that I had over 2400 e-mails sitting there. You read that right — 2400 e-mails were there in my Inbox. Larry asked me a reasonable question — “How did things get this far.”
It’s a good question and I actually have an answer. I need help. For the longest time I would receive e-mails, read them and then leave them in my inbox because I figured I needed to respond to them or get a piece of information from them at a later date. I did this once, twice, and before I knew it I had built up a tremendous number of e-mails in my inbox. In addition when junky e-mails would come in I would look at them, decide to ignore them, but not remove them. Between the two approaches it wasn’t long before yes, 2400 e-mails in my inbox.
The other day I decided to change all that.
I carefully went through my Inbox and looked at each and every one of the e-mails. If an email needed action I took care of the action required and then archived or deleted it. If an e-mail needed to be saved I added the appropriate label or labels to it and then archived. And, more often than not, I found myself able to simply erase many of the e-mails that were in my inbox. It worked. I started the day with 2400 e-mails in my inbox. I ended the day with just three… and the resolve to not get into this position you.
So now when I receive an e-mail that is junk e-mail I immediately erase it. In addition, if I receive an e-mail that I requires a specific action I now forwarded it to my Reqall account. This works well because Reqall lets me use the subject of the email to format and create a task with a due date. For example I will write “Email Judie at 10am tomorrow” and Reqall will create the task and then remind me at the appropriate time. After that I take the original e-mail and file it away with the appropriate tags.
The system is working well for me except for one thing, and that is where I need help. There are some e-mails that don’t require a specific action but do contain information that I want to save in an accessible format so that I can refer to them at a later date. Sure, I can forward those e-mails to my Evernote account but I feared that they would become lost.
So my question for all of you is –
Do you have a set approach for processing the e-mails that come into your Gmail account? If you do what you do with e-mails that require a specific action? What do you do with e-mails that don’t require a specific action but do contain information that you might want to save and reference at a later date? In other words, what steps do you take when you receive a new email in order to avoid building up to 2400?