Recently, Litmus (a company that tracks and tests email campaigns) conducted a survey as to how people use their email. The survey covered mobile devices, desktop clients and web mail providers. According to the survey, email usage grew steadily and will continue to do so – it’s expected to reach 3.8 billion users by 2014. If you think you are getting a lot of email today, it’s expected to grow dramatically each year going forward. Scary!
I won’t elaborate on David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology. However, I will touch on his two minute “inbox rule”: Allen instructs that if something can be addressed in two minutes, “do it now – don’t delay.” This will ensure you avoid wasting time on simple items, resulting in more time available to deal with the things that will occupy larger chunks of your time.
To help us further with our ever-growing inbox problem, Merlin Mann from 43folders.com introduced the inbox zero method: 5 simple rules to manage your emails so they won’t manage you.
According to Mann, email is just a medium and as with all media – the more connected they are, the better information runs through them. We need to have a plan of attack for incoming emails. For example, once we receive emails – what are the possible outcomes? What is the best way to bring them to closure? If we know the process and we have the tools, then we can gain control of our inbox.
To help you implement your process, IQTELL aggregates all your emails in one place whether you have one or twenty email accounts. IQTELL allows you to process your emails to zero by connecting the inbox-zero “five little verbs” (Delete, Delegate, Respond, Defer and Do) to every possible next step in your process, in one application (no more hopping between email and other apps for notes, tasks, projects, etc.)!
My first and favorite verb, Delete!
IQTELL combines all your email accounts together so it’s easier to delete unnecessary emails from several accounts at once.
Another personal favorite, Delegate!
If someone else can do it “better than you”, delegate. Link your email to a new task – make your notes, add supporting documents if needed, and delegate away.
This one just makes sense, Respond!
If you can respond in less than two minutes – do It!
When it takes more than two minutes, achieve inbox zero by Deferring!
Sometimes you just can’t do it right away, that’s why Allen and Mann state that you need to set some time aside to deal with it in a proper manner. Simply create a new action or a project if it requires more than one action. No need to hop between applications – everything is in your IQTELL Workspace.
And finally, Do!
When you open an email, no matter what you receive, do something with it. Don’t delay your decision. Delays waste your time, and you’ll just have to repeat the process on the same email later.
A lot of people are good at checking their emails, but when it comes to actions, sometimes it seems easier to ignore it and move on to the next message in the inbox. If you process each email as soon as you read it, you’ll have less emails waiting for you next time.
IQTELL invites you to achieve inbox zero by joining to our IQTELL’s Productivity App – check us out!
* GTD® is a registered trademark of the David Allen Company. IQTELL is not affiliated with the David Allen Company.