Proof that great minds think alike — The folks at an interesting site called LifeClever pointed their readers to the same two e-mail management systems that I did on Wednesday. Goes to show two things — how popular both of the authors are, and hw desperate people are for ways to get their e-mail under control. The LifeClever folk bring up a logical point, though. It´s great to have a system to keep your inbox empty once it is empty, but how do you get it empty in the first place. They suggest a simple and very effective method that I am very much in favor of. In their words:
Before you give up hope, there´s an instant way to clear your inbox of old emails in about 30 seconds. Here´s how:
30 seconds to zero
Put it all in one folder:
1. Create an archive folder
In your favorite email program, create a folder and name it "Archive" followed by today´s date. For example, "Archive_20060822".
2. Move everything in your Inbox to the archive
Go to your inbox, select all the email messages and move them into the folder you just created.
That´s it! Your inbox is cleared, and your mind can enjoy the resulting calm. Here´s why I recommend throwing old emails into this single folder instead of attempting to process and organize each message:
"?¢ You won´t read 95% of it again
Most of the emails festering in your inbox are messages that you´ll never ever read again. So why even bother wasting the mental energy to decide if you should delete each message or not? If you do need an old email later, just use Spotlight on the Mac or Google Desktops on the PC to retrieve it.
"?¢ An instant clean break from your antiquated system
The longer you spend entrenched in a cesspool of old emails, the less likely you´ll adopt a new system because of the perceived time it will take. Since it´s over in 30 seconds, clearing your Inbox immediately gives you a positive sense of relief and a clean slate to implement a long-term strategy for new emails.
The thing you have to remember, of course, is that this is a one time solution to get you to the starting point for your new system. This is not an approach that you take every few weeks when things get out of control.
You can check out the rest of the article here. Take some time to look around the site, too. It´s an interesting one. There´s an article about keeping your desk clean that has some good points, too.