A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article listing the 10 things I do to maintain inbox zero. I talked very briefly about the process I go through when I review the inbox at the end of the day and get it emptied.
I thought it might be helpful to share with you a flowchart of the process so you can visualize what I do.
Below is the chart (maybe a little hard to read on your phone so you can download a PDF). To follow the flow start at the top in the green box with incoming email. As you move through the process you see the decisions I take and the actions for each email that comes into my inbox.
In the “green cloud” call out I refer to my task management system. Basically any action that comes from an email gets added to my task manager and is treated in the same way as any other task. It gets me out from working in the inbox and I can see the full picture of what I have to do without any email clutter in the way.
There’s not actually much to it. The trick is getting good at making those decisions. That comes with practice and is easier if you maintain the consistency by scheduling a daily a review at the end of the day (or whatever suits you).
You can download the image as a PDF file by hitting the button below. You will be asked for your email address to subscribe to the newsletter (if you are already subscribed you won’t be added again) and then taken to the download page. I hope you find it useful!
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