GREAT advice from Gina at Lifehacker.com… I am following this advice myself
Managing the steady stream of email that gathers in your inbox every day can feel like an impossible task. Not long ago, I kept a lengthening list of folders in my email software to track messages by topic, sender, project, urgency and any other context that seemed relevant that hour. I’d spend lots of time carefully dragging and dropping every message from my inbox into the folder it seemed to belong in that day. After awhile I had so many folders the system was completely useless. Some of the folders – even after the work of creating and populating them – I barely ever opened again.
Since then I’ve slimmed down my email buckets to just three: what I call the Trusted Trio. Using just a few, simple action-based folders, it takes very little thought to keep on top of my email and a consistently empty inbox.
Note: This system is a modification of the excellent Inbox Makeover method published in Macworld in April of 2005 by king of Inbox Zero Merlin Mann. I’ve been using Merlin’s system since the article was published and during that time whittled my own version down from his suggested 5 to 3 folders. [Read more…]