Thursday, March 26, 2009

Managing THAT inbox

I am still often drawn to tips and trick guides to the computer that declare they will help you do things better. I've read enough of them over the years to, by now, find most of them irrelevant; simply because they contain basic advice or I feel I have worked out better ways to do things faster (for me).

Still, occasionally, I will scan through an article and there will be one or two nuggets of gold worth looking into.

But, I was reading one from the New York Times the other day that has been hanging around in the back of my mind. You can read it here. There is nothing wrong with it, the advice is perfectly solid.

But, there is something about the title that has nagged me. An empty inbox? Well, yes. I nearly always have an empty inbox. That is not my problem.

The issue is with reading and acting on everything that comes through the email program (including RSS). That is my time killer.

Perhaps, that is why I am so keen on finding the perfect Mobile Information Terminal. Something, I can pull out and use AND read from anywhere, anytime -- for a minute or an hour, or more.

AND then to be able to tag, move, email, act on the information then and there -- now that would be productivity!

And maybe then I could kill of at least some of those perennially nagging 'to do' lists. :-)

For the record, I seem to manage my inbox a little differently to most people, which is why it is nearly always empty. I use rules to siphon off all incoming emails to relevant folders. Certain email addresses etc. are flagged to alert me as soon as they arrive (a special box opens up in the middle of the screen, with flashing lights and bells, if necessary). The remainder are viewed from the 'unread mail' box, grouped by sender -- to be read as time permits. All filing is taken care of automatically. If I need to act on something flags and other alerts can be attached to the message or it can be shipped off to Onenote, as required.

But, as I said, that doesn't resolve the greater issue -- TIME -- as always.

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