★ Reviewing my email handling policy

Email mailbox setupIt’s been a few months since I started with this new email handling policy so I figured it was time to take a look at it and show you some of the small changes I’ve made to it.

Ok, so to the right you can see an image of my main email account’s mailbox setup, pretty simple isn’t it.

The basic system works like this for me;

  • If it’s an email I need to respond to, and I have the answer at hand, then I quickly respond to it and then delete it.
  • If it’s a travel related email, ie. flight itinerary, hotel booking, etc. then I file it in the Wait folder till the trip’s been completed, then I print all the receipts out for our accounts department and after that they all get deleted.
  • If I’ve received an email that adds something to my To Do list, or becomes a project in my GTD app, then it gets filed in the To Do mailbox so I can reference them as the To Do gets done, or the project progresses.

So what about the Archive mailbox I hear you asking. Well at the moment the archive is basically a dirty great big mailbox full of emails from the last 4-5 years. Bit by bit I’m sorting through them and gleaning whatever information I need to, which then goes into a gorgeous little app called Yojimbo (review coming soon), and then the email gets deleted.

I’m hoping some time in the next couple of weeks I will have completed emptying the archive and will be down to a 3 mailbox system, ie. inbox, wait, and to do.

I was quietly surprised that I could actually employ the above tactics not only on my personal email accounts, but also my work email accounts. It’s definitely made email information management significantly easier, and much less time consuming than it was previously.