Email provides for many people their most difficult productivity challenge. The sheer volume of messages can overwhelm an inefficient processing system very quickly. While some people may be tempted to declare email bankruptcy and delete all their messages, there are better ways to process all that incoming electronic data. One approach that is based in part on GTD methodology is Inbox Zero, developed by Michael Mann and found on his web site 43 Folders. The site hasn’t been updated in a while, but the information is still useful. From the web site:
“43 Folders is focused on an arc about how to improve the quality of your career and life by managing your attention in a way that allows you to work your ass off on the creative projects that matter most to you.”
His web site is most famous for the Inbox Zero posts. The component of Inbox Zero that is most powerful for me is the idea to reduce the number of email reference folders down to one or a very few and then relying on your email app’s power searching tools to search for archived material. This saves time on the front end while sorting email and on the back end when retrieving it. Take up the 43 Folders Inbox Zero challenge by reading all the posts on this topic, compiled on one page. See if it makes a difference to your electronic world.