There’s no shortage of articles published about how to take control of your email; we’ve contributed quite a few ourselves. This week, I’ve seen the extremes of email management approaches, from very simple to incredibly complex:
Plain. Gina Trapani of Lifehacker offers Empty Your Inbox with Gmail and the Trusted Trio. With Gina’s scheme, everything that needs some action in the future goes into Follow Up (messages you need to take action on) or Hold (where you are waiting on something or someone else) with the rest getting archived. Voila! Clean inbox.
But remember you might want to transfer to do items from your email into your task manager or you might forget all you need to do. Out of the inbox can mean out of mind, as you may have discovered after you labeled a bunch of emails as Follow Up and then never looked at them again.
Fancy. Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek says you might want to Outsource the Inbox and Never Check Email Again. Tim suggests you hire a virtual assistant to process your email, which would involve too much overhead of time, money, and hassle for most people. But if you’re an Internet celebrity who receives thousands of emails a day, it could be just the thing to free your time from email processing for higher value work.
What’s your email processing personality? Plain or fancy?