Nov 11, 2009

Email Overflow

I'm one of those really bad people that can easily get a backed-up inbox, if I don't stay on top of my emails every minute of every day. I'm a get-up-and-say-it-to-the-person kind of guy.

Of course everybody that noticed my email reflux wanted to help me and they always happened to have the best method. So I tried all kinds of stuff: bucket by projects, by categories, by people, by fields of work,... It got much better and it was manageable but I still missed important emails here and there through the tsunami getting to my inbox.

Than came Bob (not the real name). Bob noticed. Bob wanted to help and Bob had the best method. He than told me about his two buckets method.

Two buckets? How does that even work?

The first bucket is for emails where my name is in the “To” field and the second bucket is for emails where my name is in the “CC” field. The justifying rules are: 1) If it's really important, people will put your name in the “To” field. 2) If your name is in the “CC” field, get to it when you can but keep your shirt on. 3) Anything else is getting to you through mailing lists and is not dire... in theory.

Wow! So far it's working great. Now I just have to check the “To” bucket all the time, check the “CC” bucket 5-6 times a day and check the main inbox in the morning and evening.

Ah, the small things in life.