What Does Your Inbox Look Like?
Do you save your emails in your inbox or get them out of there as fast as possible? Perhaps the first question should be how often you check your inbox. Since so much of my life involves my computer these days I check mine often.
What I struggle with it the sense of unease when it grows. The last month or so, time was especially limited, I would open an email, see if I could just delete it, then either do so or save it until I had more time. As a result there were over 350 of them in my inbox.
Yet I know many of you keep more than that in your inbox all the time! I have one friend with over 500, and another who keeps everything there with well over 1,000 emails.
How does that make you feel? After spending the last couple of hours thinning my inbox down to 47, I wonder if you do the same. Perhaps it is because of working in offices for years, or maybe it’s just that I need to feel somewhat organized, but I feel dread thinking of those numbers. To me it is unfinished work that needs to be completed. They are not disorganized people. Hence, it must be a choice.
ARE YOU A KEEPER OR A DELETER?
Which are you? It would be interesting to see the lines drawn on this question. How many are in your inbox right now?
I am also curious to know WHY you keep everything in there. It is assumed that you do delete the ones of no interest as you get them (thought undoubtedly some don’t even do that). But why do you keep all the others there? If you want to look back, isn’t it hard to find one you are looking for?
AN ORGANIZED INBOX
To me, an inbox is just that. In an office, it is the stuff that you need to deal with today. If you have 500 papers in your inbox, wouldn’t that feel defeating or overwhelming? Talk about a heavy weight hanging over you. It’s like having a to do list where nothing is checked. If you are list oriented, that is the worst!
For organizational purposes, I make use of the folders feature in my email account. That has helped immensely. Of course there are papers you need or want to keep. Basically I move them into the folders—my virtual file cabinet. I’ve set up a lot of different files, like receipts, financial, various online companies I work with, and one for personal correspondence from friends and family.
You can set up as many as you like as specific as you want. Have one for each of your family members, every business connection if you want. If you collect things from different sites, why not save them in a file?
From my point of view, I probably won’t be satisfied until I am under thirty in my virtual inbox, so I have a ways to go yet. Once that is done, I admit I won’t be finished. For my next chore I’m ready to go through each of those folders and delete most of the old ones. Unless they are receipts or letters from family, I doubt most of them are necessary—or worth keeping.
I hope you will share your opinion on this and share why you prefer one system or the other. It is a real curiosity to me.