Out of Town + Inbox Blues

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't updated this blog for a while, but I went to China for 3 weeks, then had to speak at a conference in Vancouver, then came home to several virtual fires that needed to be put out, not to mention almost 3000 emails in my inbox!

Admittedly, some of those have been there for a long time - I found one I red-flagged (I use Outlook) as critical in oh...2005. Ouch.

I'm very proud of myself - This past week I've managed to cut the number of emails in my inbox from almost 3000 to 11, through a combination of ruthless "do I really need to do this" cuts, sorting into sub folders, a couple of custom junk mail filters, and a bunch of numbingly hard work.

One trick to deal with this volume is to sort by sender, rather than date. Often, you can deal with a dozen issues and emails simply with one email. This also makes it FAR easier to drag entire groups into folders (or to delete them!).

I also went through all the flagged emails and actually *used* the flags properly - Setting everything to red really isn't helpful, and rather defeats the purpose of flagging in the first place, since you will often find yourself red-flagging things that are not critical, but that you just don't want to forget about. This can build up into a monster (as I well know!).

It's hard to imagine the feeling of relief that actually cleaning out your inbox (if you are a habitual inbox filler like me) for the first time in 2 years!

I was so happy I went and actually cleaned my office, too! Someone stop my before I start alphabetizing my socks or something....


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