I am a gmail addict and have a huge system worked out.
I have a few email accounts. An AOL one (I know, so 1990s) that I use for pretty much everything, my Georgetown address, and a few gmail accounts.
(Speaking of email addresses, you can reach me at carly [at] thecollegeprepster [dot] com)
Before I begin, you should note that under no circumstances can I have an inbox with unread emails. ;dffkjhlajkhslash CRINGE!
This can be problematic though because what if I read an email, but need to refer to it later? I also have a Droid, so I read a lot of emails on my phone, and 3 out of 10 times I need to respond, but don’t want to type a response on my phone.
Gmail is genius for creating “Starred” emails.
As I read the emails, I quickly run through a question/scenario map for each one.
Starred emails are for emails that need to be responded to. At the end of the day, I’ll go through and try to answer as many of the starred emails as possible. Sometimes a starred email has to sit around for a few days or weeks depending on how long I need to find the appropriate answer.
Long term emails that I will need to refer to later (e.g. informative emails I need to save, etc.) get stored under the label “Reference.”
If you use gmail, I’m sure you’re familiar with labels. They’re the easiest way to store and sort your emails.
I can glance at my emails and know right away what kinds of emails I’ve received. Most labels I have set automatically (like Tumblr and Twitter notifications), but others I manually add as necessary. I even have a whole label dedicated to nice emails (and mean ones too haha) that I’ve received!
Having a clean inbox is one way to be more productive. I rarely let an email slip through the cracks and I can always find emails in their appropriate label boxes!
Do you use gmail/labels/starred emails?