This was an interesting article (http://bit.ly/fWgenI) I saw a while ago: Can Franklin Covey transform a stressed editor who eats too many lunches at her desk into an efficient time manager?
I’ve been working at implementing GTD for about a year and a half now. I finally updated my work email box this past week with AMAZING results. I was trying to manage email this year by keeping the info from 2010 and before always on my screen – making sure it didn’t fall completely off the bottom of the page. By mid-February, I was failing miserably.
This week, I took the plunge. I took everything from 2010 (and before) and put it in an “older email” folder to go through at a later time. I then set up three folders: “A tasks”, “B tasks”, and “C tasks”. It’s a modification of what Allen and Covey do, but so far it works for me. A tasks are ones that help accomplish my work goals for the year – the ones I’m measured on. The B tasks are tasks I need to get done, but they aren’t as important as the A tasks. And the C tasks are the emails that I’d just like to read or peruse deeper when I have time.
I only process email a couple times a day. I either file the ones I have no action to take into the appropriate project folders or I put them into one of the A-B-C folders. Then I work mostly from the A tasks folder. So far, I have been able to keep that folder down to a minimum of emails in it.
The BEST part of this system is that when I open up my inbox, it’s usually empty. While that would make others envious if they saw it empty, it’s more for me than anyone else. I have a great sense of accomplishment by having an empty inbox 3-4 times per day. It’s a great feeling and makes you motivated to get those other folders empty, too! I’ll keep reporting back over the months to say how it’s worked out so far.