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My Current Approach To Email

My current approach to email

I have used a fair number of strategies for email over the past years.

For most of the time in recent years, I have used folders of different activities in my mailbox, and then assigned time on a weekly basis to address these folders.

The drawback of this system is that it requires me to first sort and then take action. I had this partially resolved by using email rules, but a large amount of emails would still end up in my inbox.

So, after being behind on my emails for the umpteenth time, I decided to simplify my approach. A lot of my approach is still in line with what I did before: getting to an inbox zero by saving emails in the relevant folders on my computer, acknowledging that email management takes time every day, sorting by subject, and only having my mailbox open when I am actually actively replying and saving emails – not while I am doing other tasks.

My approach now centers around:

  • Setting aside about 1.5 hours per day to reply emails in one go.
  • Sort emails by subject to get them by theme.
  • Reply short emails directly, and immediately archive or delete the email.
  • Forward longer emails (for example, commenting on a document) to my agenda. Remove the email and store in the appropriate folder and/or the calendar invite to myself.
  • Mark any undesired spam or junk mail as such. Unsubscribe ruthlessly.
  • Get to inbox zero by going through everything and either replying quickly or putting it on my agenda.

With this approach, I can now more quickly take action on quick questions, and still have the assigned times in my agenda for certain activities.

How do you deal with your emails?

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