Friday, October 23, 2009

Inbox Influx

I'm still on my quest to whittle the contents of my electronic inbox. It's been an up and down battle - not much different than before. Whittle the number of messages down during the work week, what the number soar over the weekend. Rinse and repeat.

I've tired of the time involved in attempting to taim the virtual and real influx of communications. As it is, my counter is almost always littered with school papers and snail mail, in spite of my best efforts. I even complete and return all school forms the next day after they come home. And I immediately pitch the junk mail. Yet it still piles up, on my counter and in my inbox.

Then last night it occurred to me how email filters could work for me. When I read how Michael Hyatt uses them, it didn't sound like something I wanted to try. But as I dumped yet one more retail coupon from my inbox to the "coupons" folder, I saw the use for filters. They are perfect for reducing the repetitive task of filing. So I've begun today testing out filters. Now all of the retail ads/coupons I get will automatically go into the "coupon" file where I can read them at my leisure. My email program will flag that there are new messages there so that I know to look in the folder. But no more glancing at each one and then dragging the file over. Now I can read through a bunch at once and be done.

Of course, this has necessitated some rethinking of my inbox folders. I'm trying to simplify my system to better see at a glance what needs attention. But how much time to spend on that? I've worked at it a little this morning. And I think I'll give the filters a few days to do their stuff and see how that effects things before doing more. But now I have hope. That zero inbox just became a little less illusive.

Current inbox status: 35 messages

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