Handling Email; 5+ emails you should filter

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Email is such a simple tool but it makes or breaks so many people’s productivity and it breaks my heart to see how many people struggle with handling it…

“How many emails do you have in your inbox right now? Are you an inbox zero freak like me? Or do you have emails piled up and unread that you’re hoping you’ll get time to get to?

I’m not judging – I used to have as messy an inbox as anyone. And even now, if I go on vacation or don’t check my email for too long, I can get in a heap of trouble: the email piles up, and it can be a real chore getting back to my empty inbox.

I’ve got a few tips up my sleeve though to make dealing with email a little less painful – and I’ve found the best defense is a strong offense. In this article, I’m going to give you some concrete tips and examples to reduce the number of emails in your inbox instantly – and help you keep it that way long term with the use of filters.” Source: 5 Types of Emails You Should be Automatically Filtering – Stepcase Lifehack

Here are the 5 types:

  • Newsletters
  • Forwarded articles
  • Comments and pings from my blog
  • Facebook/Twitter/Social Media Notifications
  • Store Promotions
  • cc:’s [This one is my own — and I’ll explain later]

You’ll have to go to the source if you’re interested in the full rationale behind these statements. #6 [the one I added] comes from seeing how email is used as a CYA tool in large corporations. I have a friend — let’s call her Sue — Sue is an important mucky-muck at a large manufacturing organization and she’s stuck in email hell. She’s a slave to Outlook and her BlackBerry. I would venture to say that 70% or more of the email she receives is CYA. How much easier Sue’s life would be if she’d only use Outlook to put all the emails where her name appears on the cc: line in a special folder to read later when she had more time. Or used the filter on her BlackBerry Enterprise Server to only send her the emails where her name appeared on the to: line. Sigh!

As the author says, these filters work particularly well with Gmail or Google Apps [both of which I use] to manage mail effectively.

“Once you’ve created some of these filters, GMail (what I use) has an option to immediately run them on whatever you’ve got in your inbox. Use this to instantly filter low priority items away so you can focus on what’s important.

Going forward, your filters will be applied to any new email that comes in. This will keep your inbox clean so you can read the relevant, important emails first, before you head to your folders to deal with these low priority emails that may still be important to you – but don’t require as quick a response.” Source: 5 Types of Emails You Should be Automatically Filtering – Stepcase Lifehack

One more thought for those of you unlucky enough to be on MY emailing target list. I send ‘just in case’ info from my personal gmail account and important ‘just in time’ email from my e1evation account. If you’re smart, you’ll filter emails from toddlohenry@gmail.com and make sure emails from todd@e1evation.com are granted the HIGHEST priority! Those of you who are prolific emailers may want to grant your frequent recipients a similar escape hatch…

As always, I invite readers to comment, call or contact me and let me know what YOU think [or ask for help if they’re caught in email hell!]…

4 thoughts on “Handling Email; 5+ emails you should filter

  1. I like articles like these because it gives me tips for handling my own e-mail overload. I am the opposite of inbox zero freak — I can't even imagine the number, to be honest with you. In my question to take control of my inbox I'm looking to “Master Your Workday Now” by Michael Linenberger. (He previously wrote a best-seller on Microsoft Outlook.) He's got effective e-mail approaches and says that e-mail management is really all about task management. According to him (I have a preview copy of the book — lucky me) the in-box is a terrible way to manage tasks. He also talks about recognizing and overcoming the time-waster that e-mail can be. I personally don't have that problem, but certainly others do! Task management is something I strive for, along with e-mail management. I'm kind of in heaven right now, anticipating a more productive worklife. Thanks for the tips.


  2. Great tips.If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this application:http://www.Gtdagenda.comYou can use it to manage and prioritize your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.Comes with a mobile version too, and with an Android app.


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