I’m working with an engineer in Chicago to help with an overflowing email inbox. Following are a few of the brave decisions he made to streamline and declutter:
- Subscribe to a one-folder archive system instead of organizing into email folders (I’ll post more on this conceptin the coming weeks)
- Install X1 to find anything in the “dump” within seconds (I’ll post more on X1 in the coming weeks)
- Check email fewer times per day–moving from 15-20 to roughly 5–so he can increase his email processing time and decrease interruptions
- This was made easier by turning off Outlook’s email notifications…you know when the mouse changes, the ding sounds & the box appears to tantilize you to stop your progress & move directly to your inbox
- We thought we could make this easier by changing Outlook’s sweep for new email from 5 minutes to 15 or 20, but he has to work with his IT department to gain authority to make this change
- Reduce the number of emails in his inbox–from a couple thousand to roughly 50 (or to only those from the last rolling seven days)
- He went through steps on his own similar to the ones posted here and got his number under a thousand with great determination, but relatively little time
- We’ll work together to get him closer to his goal by establishing a task tracking system he can use to defer work & delegated tasks; he’s considering paper planners as a possible solution
- Reduce the number of years of information sitting in Outlook by archiving a .pst file.
- Customize Outlook to perform routine tasks to his liking
- He changed Outlook’s default calendar reminder setting from 15 minutes to 5
What kinds of things are you doing to streamline email?