I run a pretty tight email ship... it’s one area I’m on top of.
I practice Inbox Zero, I completely got that once David Allen pointed out the simple fact that an Inbox is where things arrive and not where they should live.
When an email lands, I use Mail Act-on to deal with it;
- if I need to do anything that requires some time and effort, I have an Act-On short cut (Ctrl-K) via Mail2kgtd to add the relevant email to my kGTD file in OmniOutliner Pro.
- I also have a short cut (Ctrl-A) to send the email to my Actionable Emails folder in Mail.
- The rest I either dash off a quick response and file in the appropriate project folder, each of which have an Act-On shortcut key.
- In any case emails only go to the relevant project folder in Mail when they’re done.
The above means I have:
- An empty inbox,
- A folder called Actionable that has any emails I have to deal with.
- My general list of stuff I’m working on has those actionable emails referenced as well.
- Any emails relevant to projects that I need to be able to refer to at a later point are all sitting in their project folders.
I do like having my email To-dos itemised in my full GTD list, they are no longer a island on their own. Mail2kgtd sends the full copy of the email to the Kinkless GTD file, it stores it in the notes section. This also means that the full email is listed in the notes section in iCal if I refer to the item there. It was spooky the first time, the key data being available in my email program, my GTD program and my calendar...
Each year I run an archive on the email of the year previous to the last one, so I only carry about one years emails around on my laptop. I own MailSteward Lite for archiving, it’s simple and fully searchable, and plays nice with Spotlight. But I’m considering using DevonThink Pro Office, an program whose application grows each time I use it, it may have more interesting options for analysing archived mail.
So far so fine. So what about Spam?
I have an excellent piece of software called SpamSieve which does a good job of filtering spam. But it’s not perfect, it’s okay 99% of the time. But that 1% bugs me. Today’s 1% included an email from my EU domain registrar indicating that three domains I registered were due to expire, and a response to an email I’d sent to Red Sweater software about MarsEdit. But more worryingly, there was also an expression of interest in our current feature from a US distributor.
It looks like I’ll have to add “Review my Spam folder“ to my ever-increasing list of buckets to sort through when it comes to my weekly review. Given that eight spam messages arrived in the time it took to write this entry.... That looks set to take over all of Friday afternoons...