Managing Email

October 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

My Email Folders for Workflow

My Email Folders for Workflow

Inspired by a post by Jesse Stommel in ProfHacker, “How to Crowdsource and Gamify Your E-mail” I posted the following comment, which I repost here:

Jesse, I feel your pain.  After starting in my new position at St. Edward’s I left behind 11 years worth of email and now had a chance to start fresh.  Faced with a new email platform (zimbra), I decided I needed to implement a new workflow.  Since zimbra has both tags and folders, I decided I should use both.  Now I tag for content; like google apps (my last system), I can use multiple tags on one item (as long as I use the zimbra web interface).  I use folders for the status of email.  My folder names include announcements, contacts_info, documents, done, follow-up, in progress, info,  need response, news, personal, priority, reading, repeating tasks.  I find myself most often using “done” (very satisfying) and “in progress”.  My theory is that I can check back into “in progress” to follow-up on tasks on my plate.  When my email quota is full, I plan on deleting the “done” folder, or maybe the “documents” folder, which holds messages with attached documents.  I managed to stay at inbox zero for a few weeks, but now as I begin my fourth month at St. Edward’s I must admit that today it sits at over 100.  Sigh. Like all email systems, it has fallen to the my meeting schedule.  Having read your post, however, I feel a new optimism to tackle the inbox.  At least it’s not at 300+!

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