As a follow-up to my “empty your inbox” folder, I thought I’d respond to a question in the comments with another post.
I struggle with how to file things for my work email because there are so many moving pieces that require attention. I’d be interested to hear what you have as your folder structure for filing things.
Everything useful I know about e-mail management I learned from Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero. Learn this. Over time this has evolved for me.
His basic folder structure initially translated for me as:
1. TRASH (the most important folder. put stuff here with impunity and empty regularly.)
2. Needs Response (To do)
3. Hold (waiting for something, or need to keep around short term)
4. Waiting For (a delegated to do that is waiting for someone else)
Over time, I added a few folders to get something basically like this:
2. Needs Response
4. Waiting For
6. Newsletters (subscriptions)
7. Flyers (subscriptions that are trying to sell me something that for some reason, I haven’t unsubscribed from…)
8. Social notifications (twitter, facebook, and everything else that notifies me of activity on my sites go here)
9. Blog comments
11. Receipts (from itunes and monthly subscriptions)
12. Reports (from different auto-notifiers, usually server related)
13. (and on) Various project related folders that stick around short term.
This is probably a little bloated, but it works very well for me.