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How do you manage your email?

I was inspired by Jackson Wilkinson’s post about email.  I am very fond of my email process, have spent a bunch of introspective time thinking about it and want to share it.  Then I challenge everyone to blog their own or post a comment describing their process and its pros and cons.

I use Outlook, so I delete (send to the trash) every email that comes in and requires no action after I read it.  My outlook inbox typically has about 20 messages in it at any given time and they are messages that have to-do’s associated with them.  When it gets done, it gets deleted.  I never, never, never empty my trash.

For context, I am currently averaging about 75 emails per day.

Each quarter, I create a new archive folder and put all of the deleted emails and all of my sent mail from that quarter in it.

Why not just put them in the archive folder?  Because I like using the keyboard to navigate mail and hitting the delete button is so damn easy!

This process does not work with my online mail because Yahoo constantly randomly empties my trash and Google empties my trash every 30 days.

This annoys the living crap out of me and I am still trying to find a good process for managing my online email.  I have tried similar processes, but I hate having to highlight and drop and drag email.  It is so much easier to hit the delete button.

What I don’t like about Jackson’s process is that you can’t tell what email still needs to be acted on.  My inbox is historically my to-do list, so keeping it small and neat is key for me and makes me feel good about things.

One Response to “How do you manage your email?”

  1. Ayako Says:

    You will have to see my outlook inbox. All I have is 2 e-mails from me to myself and pending e-mails I haven’t solved. Right now, I have only 5 in my inbox. Everytime when I take care of issue, I file that e-mail away to the person’s folder. So, while I have about 50 folders, I can always find old e-mails easily :)