Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inbox Zero

I can't stand a cluttered email inbox. Or a cluttered desk, table or credenza. OK, so I don't even have a credenza, it just sounds classy to say. Fortunately, with less paper, physical clutter is less prominent, and I can more easily maintain a neat desk, table, and (fictitious) credenza.

But what about the email inbox?

Several years ago, I was given Gina Trapani's Lifehacker book by my father. Within those pages I found the system I still use today, The Trusted Trio. Click the link for the full blog article.

I've added some modifications:

  • I replaced "Follow Up" with "Action" mostly because it appears alphabetically at the top of my Outlook list. Also, because it sounds better to Act then to Follow Up.
  • I allow for 2 transitory/temporary folders. When I was transitioning from NH to MD, I started keeping a emails in a separate Mid-Atlantic folder so as to not confuse the 2 companies.
  • I have a folder called "My Team" with subfolders for each Leader. This is handy during Guided Coaching sessions to monitor progress on certain strategies and gameplans.
The single greatest concept I learned from this book is this: applications today allow you to search contents easily. You don't need separate files to keep things organized, like a physical filing cabinet. Unlike traditional/physical storage systems, less division is better with electronic files.