Thursday, 14 June 2012

Emails emails emails

One of the many items on my 'to-do' list is to sort out my emails.
Too many emails!!

I used to have a strict rule to keep only really important emails, or 'pending' items in my email inbox, but for the last year the rule has slipped. I occasionally make an effort to purge a few, or categorise (I've enough folders/labels so there really is no excuse). But here we are I have 339 emails in my inbox (actually at the time of writing that has gone up to 345!

Starting this week I am going to start purging emails on a Friday. I realise I am not committed enough to do it all 'in-a-oner' - no that would be far far too serious! I am also not going to resort to my usual means or getting rid of a problem by wrapping it up in a new problem (yes I considered creating a label called 'pending' and just moving everything to that!). Instead, I will aim to sort 50 emails every Friday. This is to be added to my new 'end of the working week' organisation list which I am currently creating and I plan to implement from this week onwards!

I would recommend 'sorting' emails regularly, in the same way snail-mail should be sorted each day in the ideal world. I get all my emails (personal and work) forwarded to the same gmail account so I can keep just one client open. This creates a few problems in that I don't want to access work emails when I am on holiday but I do want to read mail from friends and family. But having to keep multiple clients open is just too much hassle for my liking! However, because of this I need to have a lot of folders or 'labels' as they are referred to by gmail.

I have categorised my labels by type as well, so I have Family, which include Mr PTC, my sisters and parents and Mr PTC's relatives. I then have work, which includes labels for the various projects I work on, and a general announcements label for emails that I want to keep but don't really fit into a specific work category. I have Blog labels, computing labels (I spend so much time working with computers that it gets a whole category to itself), household, shopping... the list goes on. I haven't had to create a new label for a while, but I probably will during my purge. However, I should probably go through all the labels and pick out any that aren't useful anymore. I've still got a category called 'Wedding' containing the various emails preparing the celebrations for Mr PTC and I over 18 months ago!

The challenge:
1. Every Friday deal with all emails that have landed in my inbox since the previous Friday.
2. Tackle a further 25 (no come on that will take forever) 50 old emails that are stranded in the inbox.
3. Continue this until my inbox contains only really really really important mail.

I reckon this will take me about two months, so watch this space... I'll then start tackling the long long list of labels/folders that should probably be sorted and purged.

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