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Old 26th January 2016, 13:51   #31
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

Mailbox by dropbox got me in the habit of snooze emails (read later). Since Mailbox is closing I moved to Ploymail which has all the same features of mailbox plus a few more.

Gestures help a lot to get to email zero quickly specifically on the phone.

I have started using email as my to-do list - if something is on there it needs my attention and I need to take some action. And a inbox-zero at the end of the day is always a good sign that work is on track for me.

I use different email clients for work and personnel emails, while the above method works great for work. I use inbox by gmail for my personnel emails and don't really ever reach inbox zero with it but delete emails regularly.
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:30   #32
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

I am a big fan of zero-unreads. I get totally uncomfortable when I am not able to clean my emails up in time. This has also something to do with the nature of work that I have been to in the past years. I also keep forcing my wife to make her inbox clean

Having lived and worked in an IT/Ecommerce application support world for many years, where emails and email alerts are super important, here are some of my top email management tips primarily focused on how outlook works. Its not just focused on zero-unread, but hope this might help some of you. By the way now a days, everything is cloud base making it of less headaches about managing backups. I am a big fan of cloud based email systems.

1. I rarely use rules and manually created folders. But instead, I use outlook search folders feature on top of everything else. Search folders do not create or demand moving of emails across folders; but instead they are kind of a filter based view. So arranging emails in all sorts of possible ways is pretty easy with out having to physically move emails across folders. When you mark a particular email as 'Read' - the main inbox also gets updated. If you have tons of emails and use outlook, I strongly suggest giving it a try. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but is going to be worth it.

2. Making use of effective search tools. I rarely search using one single keyword - but instead try to add more dimensions. Outlooks has built-in indexing which makes searching a lot faster than file based searching.

3. When it comes to Gmail [Personal] - I always try to use an email client - Outlook in my case. This makes it a lot easier for me to work with personal emails as I can make use of the rich features [like above] for managing my personal emails too. I am not particularly interested in managing emails via web or via phone unless I have no access to my laptop.

4. Slightly off topic - If you work with people from different time zones, itís a nice idea to add that time zone to both outlook calendar and also to your computer's clock - this saves a lot of time and avoids confusions.

5. Over period of time, I have learned that creating too many ways of grouping emails together [say 'bills paid-Phone', 'bills paid-car'] at some points leads you to a spot where you will be confused on the number of groups to manage, at the same time a comeback and rearranging is almost next to impossible. My personal suggestion would be to create relatively bigger and wider grouping strategies [like 'all bills paid']. With fast search capabilities, finding an old email should not be too complex.

6. I donít usually delete any emails unless they are real spam ones. Storage these days is cheap or free. At the same time I am always keen to keep a clean inbox with no bulk of unread emails floating around.

7. Using draft folder as a tracker: Probably this is not something that applies to you - but I use my draft folder in combination with reminder facility a lot. As a part of work, I have a lot of situations where I would want to compose emails over a period of time [like weekly reports] - So I usually use my draft folder to keep them arranged adding content every day until the day I want to send it out.
I also use One-Note very extensively. I must say that itís one of the best tools I have for managing and tracking content with lots of possible integrations.
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Old 26th January 2016, 16:44   #33
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

A cluttered mail box and the constant stream of emails flowing in 24x7 is a drag on productivity, at least for me.

For office emails, I follow some tips from the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.

The concepts are very similar to the ones in the InboxZero link, so I don't know who copied from whom.

I catch up with emails once I reach office.
Any email that I can immediately reply to - I reply and archive.
Emails which are important and will take more time and effort - move to an Action folder.
Emails which I will take up only when I have some slack time - move to a Someday folder.
Emails on which I don't have to take any action - Read and archive.
Emails that signify something relevant to me, but work is being performed by someone else - move to a Waiting folder.

That clears my inbox and my mind! Now I only have to prioritize and tackle the Action folder, and periodically check upon Waiting tasks. On less busy days, take up Someday tasks. Once the task is complete, archive the mail.

New mails will keep coming to the inbox and every few hours, I need a couple of minutes to repeat the above steps.

Going through the replies on this thread, there are many people who are equally comfortable without any mailbox management. I guess it really depends on how items in your task list originate as emails.
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Old 27th January 2016, 01:06   #34
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

My personal mailboxes have at least 2000~3000 unreads at any given point of time, then I realized that I am getting too many emails that I dont need. I tried cleaning up, unsubscribed from FB, Orkut and other Web notifications. Unsubscribed from several newsletters. Consolidated all logins to just one email ID. After all this somehow my other personal ID are found by businesses and I still receive tons of marketing materials, newsletters, RSS Feeds etc. I have in fact given up on my personal email IDs. In fact of late I have become so unorganized I have over 1K unreads in my official email ID!!! I guess I am part of too many unwanted distribution lists.

Now this post has given me some more ammunition to go back and clean up those over flowing inboxes!

Last edited by anand.shankar : 27th January 2016 at 01:08.
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Old 29th January 2016, 16:24   #35
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

The images below sort of work for me. The highlight of this being that some emails need to remain in the inbox for a quick draw over a short future (say 1-2 weeks). This is especially true of office emails.
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Old 29th January 2016, 17:06   #36
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

Originally Posted by dileepcm View Post
......I also use One-Note very extensively......
+1. It's a terrific tool, helps me stay organized and the best thing is two-way integration with other Microsoft products. I rely on OneNote more than my email account to keep track of stuff now, Outlook has just become and Email Service Provider to me.

The only bummer is corporate restrictions on cloud sync to OneDrive at my workplace, but that's not a deal-breaker for me.
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Old 22nd February 2016, 09:45   #37
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

A few friends & I use "PolymailApp" to manage emails.

Instead of describing how useful it is, I'd recommend you'll check it out.

It's invite-only, but I guess they're currently open to registration requests. Just ask them for an invite on Twitter.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 22nd February 2016 at 09:49.
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Old 14th July 2016, 14:49   #38
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

A friend sent me this blog link...

The 3-pane layout looks pretty cool!

Inbox Zero & Email management tips-inboxzero1.png

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Old 29th July 2016, 18:09   #39
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Default Re: Inbox Zero & Email management tips

The only way I know how to start a weekend !

Inbox Zero & Email management tips-capture.png

Essentially, emails require either one of the following 5 actions. I just prefer to take care of it on the spot (whenever I'm reading emails) instead of 'getting to it later':

1. Reply.

2. Archive (just read, no need to reply).

3. Delete (spam or some other useless stuff).

4. Forward to someone else to take care of.

5. Some emails might entail a longer task (say, a client asking for a detailed quotation). If this is the case, I create an entry of that task in my to-do list. However, as far as possible, I try to complete it on the same day.

Last edited by GTO : 30th July 2016 at 10:59.
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