Minimal Email

For the last week I’ve been working on sorting through all the messages I’ve let accumulate in my Inbox at work. I leave the messages there because I seem to think that I’ll need to refer back to them. You know, each “Lost/Found Keys in the Lunchroom” email, and each “we saw this error 6 months ago and you might see it again” email. I had a sorting system but I was a little to granular. I had one for Wireless issues, one for WAN issues however if the issue seemed to span Wireless and WAN I always didn’t know quite where to put the message. So I’d leave it in my inbox until I decided…

So I followed a suggestion instructions on Leo Babauta’s website zenhabits.net. I modified his list but I think it will work for me. I created an Action folder and an Save folder. I found that when I searched for an email I’d open up my All Documents link (we use Lotus Notes at work – don’t judge me) and just search for the sender/receiver or subject. So now I just have to go to the Save folder or still go to the All Documents. Under the Save folder I have a couple of specialized folders that I do actually use. But those folders had to meet criteria – have I actually looked in this folder in my recent memory, or will I likely do so. If it didn’t meet these requirements the folder was trashed and the emails were moved to the Save folder. For example, I like to save the emails regarding new employees at our company or emails that are sent when people leave the company. Those two folders I’ve actually used recently and I like to go through them nostalgically and remember people who came and went.

Today, finally, I’ve completed emptying my Inbox of all that crap that I didn’t really need to refer to. Anything that I still need to act on is in the Actions folder – and this I hope to keep up to date – moving items out when they are acted upon. It took me maybe 4 hours to really get this completed.

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