Manage your email. The secret of an empty mailbox

 Christian Matteman    10-04-2015
With these tips I hope to help you. I'm not telling you how to work, I tell you how you could be working.
Feel free to use my advice.

Empty Mailbox An empty mailbox, cleaned up and no unread mail. it's possible and not so hard to do.

I'm working year after year with a mailbox full with mail, set flags on messages so I don't forget them. My mailbox was more a to do list, to remember list, to read list and an attention list. I have tried to work with mailbox rules to move the mail automatic into mailbox folders but the only result was i missed messages.

Time to make some changes.

I was surfing on the internet and at one time I found an book from David Allen, 'Getting Things Done' an management method based on tasks. The system for an always empty mailbox is really simple.

1. Create 4 folders for your mail:

- Action
- Waiting for - Ever
- Archive
I have created some project folders in my Archive folder but with the search function you can find easily your mails back

2. Process your mail. When you open your mailbox (twice a day) you will find mail in your inbox.

- Delete the spam mail direct.
- Mails where you don't have to do anything with, like order status, payments, etc, move them to your Archive folder.
- Can you answer an mail in two minutes, do it directly otherwise move the mail to the Action folder.
- Mails for your colleagues or other people: forward and move to the Waiting for folder
- Mails with no action, but a lot of reading work. Move them to the folder Ever.

3. Now you can work on your mails.

Open the action folder and answer the mails. You will see only the Action mails like a to do list and when you have answered the mail you move it to one of the other folders. Do you need to wait for an answer from someone else, place them in the Wait for folder, Don't you have to do anything anymore with the mail, just delete it or place it in the Archive folder.
After the Action folder, you look at the Wait for folder. Are you waiting a long time for an answer, send a reminder.

 Working this way you work in an efficient way with your email. You will never forget mails to answer and you know exactly where you are waiting for.

Last tips for business mail:

A business mail can be very short. Try to thing about three things:
 - What do you want?
- Why?
- Why from them?

 Oh and most of the time I end my mail with: Have a nice day. It is a simple line but it looks nice.