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22

Inbox Zero: Overcoming E-mail Overload The usual admonitions (refrain from "reply all", keep responses short, etc.) are about keeping the problem from getting worse. Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero is a system that can actually help solve the problem, and it starts with a basic axiom: "Your inbox is not a to-do list; it is for unprocessed e-mail, and its ...


11

Most email systems include a feature with this specific goal in mind. In Microsoft Outlook, "Flag for Follow Up" is the best way to achieve this goal. You can even mark a date when you are following up. In GMail, consider using the "starred mail" feature for areas that require a response.


11

See this Mindtools article or this one. Essentially: Subject line should be a useful summary of the email's contents Focus -- make one point per email. Send multiple emails if you have many topics to discuss. Specify the response you want and identify yourself clearly. Include contact details. Be kind. If you write in anger, save a draft, go get a cup of ...


10

Open the message, Click "More", select "Add to Task", click on the new task, enter due date. Switch back to the message and move/archive. That gives you a task with the link to the original message. (Also, first time): Switch to the calendar and ensure Tasks show up on the calendar. Now, just review the Calendar daily as per normal GTD rules. That's the ...


10

Inbox Zero helps you work your Inbox towards zero e-mails, it will thus help you handle all your e-mails. The best way would be to watch the video Reaching Inbox Zero, it's an hour though... It is accompanied by a slide show, and his articles on 43 folders. A concise introduction: Your goal is to convert your mails to actions, and when they are done ...


9

Create a folder for them, e.g. @pend. cc: yourself with ones you need to follow up on. with the text @pend in it. Create a rule to put them into that folder (from you, text includes @pend). Review weekly. I have a repeating task to do remind me of that. Outlook 2000 directions from DavidCo.


9

If almost all your open items arrive by email, then it can be advantageous to manage the emails themselves as representing the open items. Outlook folders are somewhat inflexible because you can only view one folder at a time. Instead, if you're using Outlook I would suggest creating custom views that let you select whichever subset of your items you want ...


9

Email tends to be a time sink, in order to tame it, aim to keep an empty inbox, and only handle each message once. http://www.43folders.com/izero - deal with it at the time you read it, delete what you can, archive what you must. Anything you defer, put on your task list and get it out of your inbox (obviously, if you follow the GTD system, take a minute to ...


9

I disagree with the other answers here because I don't think a good argument can be made for either of the two options given. The right thing to do in a particular situation depends on the context, and knowing what to do is part of what you get paid for. There are lots of factors that will influence the right choice, but here are some examples: Know who ...


8

I'm using FollowUpThen for such e-mails. Email followups, scheduled as easily as this: 2minutes@followupthen.com. Clear out your inbox by forwarding emails to FollowUpThen. Make sure your emails get responses. SMS Reminders. Easy reminders — an email away. See this video for a quick introduction. Some examples: "This email is sitting in my ...


8

if you setup an auto-response saying that all emails will be answered by the end of next day you should be fine (plus information, who to contact in case if they need an immediate assistance)


7

E-mails are not meant to be actionable, thus they aren't GTD tasks on their own. So, I'm going to assume that you will use the Task system as that's where tasks are meant to be. Creating a new list of tasks. Easily create a task from an e-mail. Drag an e-mail to the Tasks button. Creating new tasks and putting them into sub folders. When you ...


7

I never let my inbox get longer than 1 screen, to ensure I don't lose anything important: As emails come in I strip out all attachments and store in a filesystem that mirrors my mail folders. Then I file all emails that don't need immediate action, but mark as unread. The others I respond to and then file. The benefit of this setup is I can always see what ...


7

Quote and remove works well only when the discussion thread goes on linearly (each reply answer always the last email), which is not always the case (especially with multiple recipients). Anyway, if you have problems with mailbox space, you should worry more for attachments than for text.


6

Create folders based on when you need to hear back. I have folders for each month of the year and "current week." I go through "current week" twice a week and reply to anything that need be. The months are because there are things I need to follow up on farther in the future. In practice, I only use a few at a time but it is easier having them all.


6

There isn't a best time for everyone. If you are asking this question, you are likely checking e-mail entirely too often though. Turn off that beep! I find turning off e-mail received notifications and filters/folders to be critical. The former stops me from being tempted to check too often. The later lets me scan the more important e-mails quickly and ...


5

GMail has customizable filters you can use to have your messages organized automatically. It takes some time at first but it's easy to keep it updated. I have tags for 'Facebook' and 'Friends' that never go to my inbox but are automatically archived. I know something arrived because the tag turns bold and shows the amount of unread messages. The main tags ...


5

If you use Gmail, there is an excellent extension for Chrome and Firefox called "ActiveInbox." It basically inserts buttons for "Action", "Waiting On", and "Some Day" labels. You can then automatically sort those labeled emails to show up at the top of your inbox if you wish. It basically does what some of the other people in this thread are suggesting, but ...


5

Use email when you think it's the most convenient way to communicate. There are no rules as to when to use email and when to not, just a matter of personal preference.. then some people have worse preferences than other.. However: To get a clear and fast response: Ask direct questions Get to the point fast Write short e-mails, they're easier to answer ...


5

Email is "asynchronous", there is inherent delay because you are not communicating at the same time. However, that is also its biggest advantage. You don't have to wait for the other side to be available before you write your email. Text chats, phone calls, and meetings are "synchronous". You need the participants to be available (can be hard to get) before ...


5

How you you know they are super urgent? Work example I set up my smartphone to vibrate/flash red only for "urgent" messages. THere are some false positives, but I don't miss any. My filter has two parts: If a message as urgent or "severity 1" in the subject, it is urgent. If the message has a high priority flag it is urgent. (Unless it is sent by a ...


5

Why off-topic? The answer is a matter of opinion, and I agree - plain text is the way to go. BTW I'm sure the OP means HTML rather than RTF, the latter would be even more of an insult. Exceptions would be situations where you specifically knew the receiver was happy to receive HTML formatted email. Note in the sentence above I used two asterisks for ...


5

If you want these items out of your email (this appears to be at least a secondary motivation), the best way to collect and aggregate useful snippets is something like OneNote, Dropbox, or Evernote. Each of these applications will have their own strengths and weaknesses, with all of them being very powerful in the accessible and searchable functional areas ...


5

For making your Gmail Inbox to zero you should use ActiveInbox activeinboxhq.com For Finding who has been sending you most mails use, Awayfind it has this feature awayfind.com & Gmail meter Gmail Meter


5

Have you looked into Inbox by Google? It has the exact feature you're looking for, and integrates very well into Android phones and Google Now. It group messages similar to the new "tabs" feature in Gmail but also allows you to "snooze" emails for any time in the future, and also add reminders within the app that show up when they need to. Say, for ...


4

It really depends on what you want, you can choose being constantly reminded (by seeing the emails) or just a warning after a specified amount of time to follow-up that day with the people involved. I use both depending on the urgency - if it's something I need a quick answer I'll keep it visible, but if it's something that'll wait a week or more I'll set ...


4

Even if you don't have the time or inclination to set up a complex set of filters or smart mailboxes, a simple thing you can do to reduce the size of your inbox is to act on every email. (Note: I agree with many of the other answers about checking your email on a schedule that works for you - every half hour, hour or whatever rather than looking at each ...


4

I recently saw a DACO webinar on the issue (although I use a different mail program). My mail management had been sluggish for a long time due to a conceptual mistake: when a mail required an action, I used to put it in a folder called "1.Actions", and used it right away as a list of actions. The problem is that, usually, the action each mail requires from ...


4

It depends how important email is to your job. In my job, I have to answer it, but programming, writing, and meeting with people are far more important. So for me the most productive time to read email is at most once per day and at my least productive time of day. This is typically late afternoon or mid-evening. If email is your entire job, flip the ...


4

If you work by client or by project, then folders for each one will make it easier to find those emails later when there are questions. I also have a folder for any messages that tell me what a wonderful job I did. I use these to qualitify how often I have pleased the clients when I do my performance evaluation so I accumulate them through the year. I also ...



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