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A cure for the inbox blues.

Wow, no offense, but your inbox is really messy. How can you find anything? No wonder your friends and clients are dropping like flies. You never answer their emails.

What you need is a new filing system. Set up separate storage folders for the types of messages you tend to keep—i.e., one for each project, one for personal messages and so on. Now sort through everything in your inbox for one last time, deleting messages or moving them to new folders.

In the future, as soon as you receive/read a message, answer it, delete it or move it to another folder. If someone sends you a document or photo attachment you want to keep, don’t just leave it there for later. (As in, never.) Save the item right then and there and delete the message.

As the saying goes, handle it once.

Posted: 5/12/08
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I keep a separate "Flagged" folder for messages I've marked/flagged for later follow up.