The other day I ran into a colleague who apologized for not answering an email I’d sent a couple weeks back — she’d gotten overwhelmed with 1200 emails in her inbox, she explained, and was slowly working her way through the message. (“Normal,” for her, she added, was 300-400 messages in her inbox.) Which might seem like a lot for some of you, but I’ve hit the 300-message mark before. Possibly more than once.
So I read this post about email management from On the Road to GTD (that’s Getting Things Done from the popular David Allen book of the same name) with some interest. The post mentions the basics — don’t use Reply All when Reply will suffice, for example — and also lists some tips that you think would be obvious but aren’t always: if an email message can be dealt with quickly (in under two minutes), take care of it rather than let it sit in your inbox. Don’t forget to read the comments section where readers have posted their top email management tips. (I would add that I use my sort function all the time — I sort by date, by sender and by subject line which is why it can be problematic when people change subject lines on responses.)