Yesterday, on a car ride home from a wonderful Sunday outing, one of my former work colleagues was explaining his system for managing his email. He insisted that everyone who works for him must also have a system to manage their email–that otherwise, nothing can get done. I could not disagree more.
My email “system” goes as follows: if the email is important, I read it. If it is trash or unimportant, I ignore it.
Deleting an email I don’t need to respond to takes time. Ignoring it costs nothing. Gmail has a rich, fast search capability. If I need to track something down, I can. The noise doesn’t matter. Unsubscribing from lists I don’t care about (like Banana Republic’s mailing list they fire out weekly or more) is more time consuming than either ignoring the mails, or setting them to spam.
And I don’t worry about missing things, because I am constantly checking my iPhone for new messages. Mobility has enabled me to avoid missing important missives. If I need to respond to an email but don’t want to do it right away, if it’s important enough, I will remember to do it, or I will put it on a To Do list. If it’s not important enough, I don’t need to reply. And if it IS important, and I do miss it, someone will call me. Or @me. Or otherwise track me down.
Time is my commodity. Managing my email is a waste of resources. Search, and forget.
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