Revisiting the inbox

Last year in my old blog I ran a series of posts about Taming the Inbox. Where I talk about trying to get a handle on my 6+ email accounts and looking for a solution for managing my mail. I wanted to find something that was as flexible as I needed, worked well from multiple computers and my Windows Mobile cell phone.  I never truly found a solution. I ended up embracing Postbox. When I started using it I tried to use the Topics to organize my mail but it didn’t last long. The biggest problem, after being lazy,  is it doesn’t auto sync topics between computers. They sync as long as you have the same topics on both copies. Using lower case topic names seems to help.  So I’m still looking for a solution.

For a while I’ve been thinking that the best solution would be to strive for an empty inbox. If my Messages didn’t pile up it would be easier to check them from anywhere. I’ve read some of Merlin Mann’s posts on the subject and I’m looking forward to his book inbox zero. I also looked at David Allen’s Getting Things Done work-life management system. I always felt they were a good idea, It just always seemed to much work to get started.

Last week I saw this video on smarterware.org and became inspired. Something about that video  gave me the confidence I needed to try to empty my inboxes. I’m currently operating with a Virtual zero inbox. By that I mean, all my mail is still there but now it’s been tagged. Over all the virtual method is working great, Postbox as easy filtering on tags so that I can just see messages without a tag so it looks like my mailbox is empty. Of course the auto tagging of replies does cause a little bit of a problem.

The work isn’t done yet, everything from this year has been reviewed but I still have to go through the backlog from the past 3 or 4 years. I’m planning to move to actual folders soon, I’m just waiting to see if this really works for me before I commit to moving my mail. I’ll keep you posted.

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