Last year, about this time, I described my personal system for dealing with the large volumes of email that I saw at Microsoft. As hard as I try, I’m not always successful at keeping my Inbox (or in my case, my Triage folder) at zero, even though the volume of email I receive here now is significantly lower. On occasion, however, I do get to see what it looks like, so I thought I’d share:
There’s a couple of things to point out here:
- My Triage folder is empty. (Inbox Zero!)
- My To-Do Bar is full of scheduled tasks. (I use flags to schedule things.)
- My tasks are color coded, as follows:
- Red = Important
- Orange = Interesting
- Yellow = Neither
- Green = Personal
- My tasks for Today are sorted in priority order (by manually dragging them around).
The one weakness I have with this system is that I sometimes drop tasks that people give me verbally – like in meetings. My system works best for me when I have an email trigger to remind me to go do something. I’ve been trying to be more proactive about asking folks to send me reminders. But, maybe I should just email them to myself.