Inbox: manageable

I decided this afternoon that I’m tired of suffering under the tyranny of my email. Here are the new rules I’m going to try out for a while:

  1. My email program will only be open when I am actively working with email or away from the office and using email as my communication channel.
  2. Every email I’ve read that requires no action will get filed in a monthly folder.
  3. Every email that requires action will be flagged with a color-coded flag.
  4. At the end of every day I will triage the inbox for rules 2 and 3.
  5. I will strive for Inbox: Less than 20 at the end of every day.

It’s gotta be better than having 35 red-flagged messages and 127 yellow-flagged ones and 2557 messages in my Inbox, which is what I was just staring at, and which felt utterly unmanageable.

Worth a shot, right?


  1. Why bother with monthly folders? Search is good. Trust the search. I also delete/forward with reckless abandon. We have 30 days here to recover a deleted message, and 99/100 that’s good enough.


  2. Kudos for you…I started this years ago and now get antsy when I am approaching 30 emails in the inbox. I have three folders where I put pending “stuff” they are labeled Action, Waiting, and Read…and never have more than 20 items in them!


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