Since 1 year now I use GTD principles to manage my emails and achieve the ultimate goal : inbox 0.
I’ve described this in a previous post .
The idea is quite simple, based on 5 folders :
0 – Inbox: where all emails come when I receive them
1 – Action: email for which an action from me is needed
1 – Read / Review: emails that with stuff I need to read / review<
2 – Waiting for : emails for which I’m waiting an action from someone else
3 – Done: emails processed, keeped for archive.
For more detail on how I use these folders, you can refer to the initial post.
The most important thing is to be able to empty the inbox and file emails in the proper folder in a very efficient way, as fast as possible.
To make it really very easy for me I’ve done some customisations of my outlook client to implement 4 customs buttons.
When I open an email, the 4 buttons are accessible.
Their function is very simple :
- “Done” files the mail in the “3- Done” folder
- “Action” files the email in the “1-Action folder”
- “Read” files the email in the “1- Read / Review folder”
- “Waiting for” files the email in the “2- Waiting for email”
Here’s a quick guide to implement these buttons in your outlook.
First, you need to create 4 macros : MoveDone(), MoveAction(), MoveRead(), MoveWaitingFor().
Here’s the source code template. Just use it 4 times, replacing the name and the macro and the name of the folder.
- Just open an existing email
- Right click in the toolbar then “Customize”
- In the popup, chosse “Macro”. You should see the 4 macros you have created.
- Then drag and drop macro 1 by 1 from the pop up to the email tool bar.
- Here’re the 4 buttons !
Now, just go to your full inbox, open the first email, and start to clean !