Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

How about you?

How many e-mails are stored in your Inbox? As I type this, I’ve got three and one of those is no more than a reminder for tomorrow morning? I try to keep my Inbox to less than ten, and that means responding quickly and either filing the e-mail or deleting it.

Who’s got some wisdom for us on this one?

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Matt Edwards

posted March 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Use lots of storage folders and use the flags in Outlook.
I can’t always respond to emails right away, so I flag things. I use every color that Outlook allows. Red is reserved for pressing needs, blue for one project, green for another, etc. When I have responded to a message, I check off the flag. If I am awaiting a reply to my response, I will leave the checked-off message in my inbox so that I know that I responded and that I am awaiting a reply. Once the project is finished, I file important messages and delete the rest.
I usually have about 10?20 messages in my inbox. They are all either flagged (meaning I need to respond to them), or checked off (meaning I am awaiting a reply from someone).

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posted March 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Using GTD, I usually have zero items in my Inbox. However, today I have 10 all flagged for some sort of disposition. Technically, they shouldn’t be there but in other folders. I just haven’t put them there just yet.

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barb hungerford

posted March 31, 2009 at 4:45 pm

I have 4,383 in my personal email inbox. Yes, I know I should delete all but the past few days. I rarely look back very far…..

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Scott M

posted March 31, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I have a variety of accounts and tend to work to keep the inbox empty enough so what’s in there will display with scrolling and with a bit of space left over.
My wife, otoh, has over 4k messages in her inbox. Different strokes.

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Paul Berry

posted March 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm

In my two inboxes, I have a total of 9. I try to move them out ASAP, but sometimes they just get stuck. I’ve got one from Feb. 10 that I just need to get done or give up on.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Here is a link to a version of GTD (Getting Things Done) that is set up specifically in Outlook but the ideas would transfer to non-PC users. I like this idea. I have tried to do it but fail as much as I succeed.

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Chris Kidd

posted March 31, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I have approx 150 emails in my inbox. I try and clear it down to about 20-30 every two weeks or so. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I receive approx. 150 – 200 emails a day (after application of the junk filter), so I have thousands stored in my inbox. I use Outlook’s red flags to mark what I haven’t dealt with yet. Every few weeks, I move everything without a red flag to a network folder designated by the month in which I received the email (e.g., I have a folder titled “March 2009″), because in my job its dangerous to delete anything.

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steph seefeldt

posted March 31, 2009 at 5:54 pm

i have delete phobia. i might NEED something from one of those messages.
every now and then i go through them alphabetically and remove 100 or so….

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posted March 31, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Me = 1026, my husband = none.
I do sort them out every month or so.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 6:06 pm

8967. No wonder my Outlook keeps crashing.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 6:23 pm

As I write this 4877. But I deleted a whole stack this weekend as Outlook was crashing far too frequently.
Some wisdom on this one? — Don’t delete. You’ll regret it.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I have 5244. Of those 2546 are unread. About once a month, I go through and do sender searches to delete about 1200 of them. It drives my husband crazy that I have so many – and so many unread emails. But it never causes me any problems and you never know when you might need something. My words of wisdom – do what works for you.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Our IT guy was ranting the other day about running out of room to back up Outlook files. I tried to send them something with a 6mb attachment and it got rejected. I was flabbergasted. Email is a critical tool.
Since I’m a renegade, I’m on gmail and just set up my Outlook account for forward it all there. I don’t have to file messages; I just hit “archive” and if I need them later, I google them.
If I had one piece of advice, it would be to rid yourself of Outlook bloatware and move to a true web-based email. Because I can access mine from anywhere, I’ve been able to work from several different countries without anyone knowing the difference. I can even get to it on my kid’s iTouch if I need to.

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posted March 31, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I learned a system that I swear by as it keeps me very organized.
I make three smart folders in my Apple one labeled ‘unread’ that has only unread emails, one labeled ‘flagged’ that only includes emails I have flagged to refer to later, and a ‘sent’ smart folder that has all the emails I have sent.
When I read an email and don’t flag it, it is automatically archived and moved from my ‘unread’ folder once I have read it. If I flagged it to return to later, then it is automatically added to my flagged folder.
Since all my emails are archived, if I ever need an email, I can always search for it in the mail app, but I’m never bothered by it again as it is moved from my unread folder without me having to manually move it.

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Julie Clawson

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:54 pm

7265 emails, 3721 unread. And I am constantly searching old emails. I’m sure there are tons I could get rid of, and if I’m bored every so often I delete a few pages or so. And I’m horrible about answering emails right away – I get a chance to read them, but I can’t reply because I’m feeding the baby or something.

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Ted M. Gossard

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I do regret some of my deletes. I clean up here and there, but I tend to want to keep noteworthy ones, though they pile up over time.

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Scott M

posted March 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm

The other option isn’t only delete. That’s what folders are for …

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posted April 1, 2009 at 5:22 am

Eamil rules, on reciept either;
1. File
2. Action
3. rogram in calendar for action
then delete
And remember, email is the LEAST urgent form of communication.

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posted April 1, 2009 at 6:32 am

Unfortunately e-mail is not the least important form of communication. It is almost the only form these days at the University and in the larger community. We are close to paperless. I interact with journals, meetings, administration, funding agencies, colleagues, get requests for review, letters of recommendation (sent and received), notification of funding, notification of policy, invitations to speak,… all via e-mail – exclusively.

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posted April 1, 2009 at 9:13 am

276 in the inbox. (I’d prefer to have 100 or less.) They are waiting to be sorted into over 260 folders! In my work, keeping them gives me records for tracking down and solving problems.

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Travis Greene

posted April 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

Folders, people. Especially if you’re stuck with Outlook, like I am for work. Folders, and then folders within folders. It’s all there if you need it. I also recommend Google Desktop, so you can search your own stuff effectively.
For my Gmail personal account, I tag stuff that matters and archive it after it goes past the 50 that show up on one page. Everything else (Facebook reminders, spam, etc) gets deleted. I’m still only using 1% of the storage. Plus they have that new autopilot feature 😉

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Jonathan Lasko

posted April 1, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Once I started using Remember the Milk, I stopped using my email inbox as a to-do list, and it’s size went down to under 20 messages. Nowadays the only things filling up my inbox are either emails I want to keep handy for reference or things that have yet to be “tasked” to Remember the Milk…

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posted April 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

Facebook is overtaking email as the primary means of communication for many people. It’s growing at a million people every two days… I now spend as much time checking Facebook as I do checking email.
I’m even thinking of discontinuing our church e-news to put those resources on Facebook. It’s much more interactive, and I can be a daily part of people’s lives without “spamming” them. Not to mention that we have more FB friends than we do email subscribers.
That being said, it’s awful hard to stop any kind of communication once it gets going.

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