Somewhere during my transition from a senior developer to a manager, my email started to explode every single day with more and more messages.
At some point, my casual email habits didn't work anymore, so I had to take the bull by the horns and develop new techniques to avoid dropping balls left and right.
Here is my current rutine:
- I started by archiving everything so my inbox was empty.
- From there, everytime I get an email and I finish with it, I archive it.
- If it's sitting on my inbox, it means I still have to do something with it.
- Unread and Read emails don't mean anything for me other than "this one is new, and that one I already read it".
- When I finish with something, but it depends on another person to finally close the conversation, I label it as "pending" and then archive it.
- Regularly, I check my "pending" label to be on top of what other people still owe me.
- I never go to sleep with more than 7 emails on my inbox.
- My inbox is my todo list. If it's not there, I don't have to do it.
- Stuff that I don't have to act on (but I'll have to) it's under "pending".
- Keyboard shortcuts make this process very quick.
Now I rarely forget stuff. Almost never.
P.S. I never go to sleep with more than 7 emails because that's the number of threads that fit on the screen without scrolling on my Nexus 5. Scrolling gives me sense of "too many", so this number will potentially change when I change phones.