My Zero Inbox– How I am getting things Done.
I make no claims that I am the most efficient or the most reliable when it comes to email and I am second only to @sizemore when it comes to there being days that I realise it might be out of my control.
Here for your amusement is how I am managing my Inbox to Zero.
My Label system has four categories; Clients , Suppliers , Websites, Groups .
The Labels might be a little obvious but allow me to break them down. For every category I will have a second name on that label so that I have a long list of Labels which look something like;
supplier – ebuyer
suppliers – dell
suppliers – dell invoices
suppliers – apple
websites – twitter
websites – evernote
websites – convore
groups – libdems
groups – horshamlibdems
groups – parish council
groups – friends
groups – eastercon
clients – Big Bobs Widgets
clients – Hannigans Heros
clients – Incom
As many emails with be assigned two labels, such as suppliers – dell with clients-Incom I have a filing system which tracks Suppliers or Clients or both.
Further: I find it perfectly acceptable to have some emails arrive that are never labelled.
Labels can be applied to received emails automatically so that certain emails ( such as notifications or updates ) can have an appropriate Website label and then marked as read and possibly marked to skip the inbox. These are not urgent messages and can be bookmarked. Other messages can be relabelled to match messages from a supplier or client and they may or may not be marked as read. Notifications from Dell about delivery dates are marked as read but left in the inbox. Setting things Marked As Read means that I am not nagged by the unread counter on my iPhone or other mail clients ( of which I use the browser predominately )
As a note here use the LABS import/export filter feature to make a regular backup copy of your mail rules then email that rule set to yourself for backup.
Step 1 : Star for Response
On opening the inbox for my email I look down the list of messages and mark with a STAR and a Tick in the check box the messages that will need a response or a review then I select Archive.
Step 2: Archive
The remaining emails will now be items that can either be Archived to Deleted. A quick review of the subjects and labels means I tick the checkbox on items that are to be deleted and select Archive again.
Archiving a message places the email into the All Mail ( non inbox ) list and removes it from your ‘things that need an action’ you want to keep a copy but you should not be responding to it.
Step 3: Deleting a messsage is OKAY !
What messages remain can be deleted and you do not want to be in the habit of leaving them behind. If they are from mailshots, lists or groups I may take the action to unsubscribe or simply keep marking as spam certain messages.
Step 4: Reply and unStar a message
When I reply to a message I use the SEND & ARCHIVE lab feature to move the message from my inbox into archive ( remember it will have been auto labelled and if not then I set up the filters to do so ) .
I remove the Star on the item since I have pushed back communication from my side of the table and I do not see the point in using a label called –awaiting reply. I remove it to archive and out of my focus in my star list.
What if I start a new email ?
The above rule applies. I am not focussing on other peoples attitudes to their emails as long as I have pushed back a response then I am happy to know my inbox is moving ever towards zero.
I have been employing this method for a year now; it works for me and if it works for you then please come back and let me know.
Huge thanks in the creation of the fake inbox goto
Thanks for reading ( now mark as read )