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After reading this Lifehacker article, I'm questioning my use of filters in my email. I have two separate GMail inboxes, one for my school/work account at my university, the other for my personal account. I get a fair amount of email in both, probably 60+ a day in the former, 20+ a day in the latter, and this is over and above the rules that prune things out of the inbox into separate folders (like, say, "politics" or "Psych 220").

A problem I've noticed is, even on the weeks when I'm really good about inbox zero, I'm really haphazard about going through those separate folders, so I'm looking for a good heuristic about when I should and when I shouldn't do this.

My best guess is that if it's a topic that has anything that could be important, that I might need to see or act on on a daily basis, don't filter - just process the inbox like usual. But for stuff that isn't - say, like, Groupons - filter and make a task to remind me to check them on occasion. But this is just a guess. Any tried-and-true methods?

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I just found this cloudrockers.com/modules/3 courtesy of this thesecretweapon.org ... which may solve my GTD woes and my filtering woes in one fell swoop. I'll try it for about a week and then maybe answer my own question. –  Zelbinian Nov 21 '13 at 23:33
    
Just FYI: Related to my previous comment, if you're a "power user" of the GTD method, using Gmail as your main weapon isn't a great idea. If you put a lot of context tags on a thing, you won't be able to read the subject lines. Also, you can't easily edit subject lines, which is a bummer. –  Zelbinian Nov 29 '13 at 19:05

1 Answer 1

I have a pretty busy set of mailboxes - the worst gets about 200-250 emails a day, of which maybe 50 are 'do today', 50 are 'delete once read' and maybe another 50 are 'delete immediately', which leaves me with 50-100 that I use filters to file.

I tweak the filters probably once a month, or if I find too many emails appearing (ie my mailbox builds up too fast) and most of my filters are per-project, per-product or per-site.

For the per-project ones my read frequency is determined entirely by priority. If that project is a daily task, I read the emails daily. If it is a long term one with monthly reporting, I may just read once a week unless I expect a busy period.

For things like Groupon stuff - I don't even set a task, I simply browse if bored at lunchtime or before bed. Low priority for me.

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