I really work my email hard - I hate a scrollbar and when it appears on my inbox, it is time to fix it. Right now I have six things in there
- an email from my mom (sort of gotta pay attention to that one)
- an email to review a document early next week
- an email to remind me to ship some books
- an email to have me review some material for a webcast in January
- an email to remind me my next column draft is due on the 29th
- an email to remind me to fax a "you may release my material" form to a user group
By the end of Monday - the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th should be deleted... Hopefully the same will be said about the new lot of email that comes in. I have a very simple set of rules:
- when new mail arrives read it and either
- respond immediately and delete it
- if it is about some event - file it into the folder named after the date of the event (eg: 20061214 - December 14, 2006) and the event itself, for example 20061214_NYOUG for the New York OUG event I'll speak at
- if it is something I have to do - but cannot do right now this minute, let it stay in the inbox
It is that last item that causes all of the problems - when there are too many "to do" items in my inbox. That is why I avoid the scroll bar - if it appears, I have more than 15-20 items in there and that is just too many to-do's to do. So, I keep it small. If something slips off the end - I might scroll down to it and reply to it (usually reply to it again actually, I replied the first time saying something like "I got your email and will pay attention to it soon") saying I don't know if I'll be able to get to this.
Anyway, I stumbled on this more comprehensive list of email "stuff".
#5 is of course my all time favorite. "they may give the impression of childishness and illiteracy". Indeed!
Many good ones in there, a few "eh, I'm not sure about that". There are a lot of them to read - but the best are mostly up front.