I use GTD principles to achieve Inbox Zero. What does that mean? GTD is short for Getting Things Done, a popular method of organization and productivity that David Allen describes in his bestselling book Getting Things Done (read my review). Inbox Zero is the point at which you have no emails in your inbox, because you’ve acted on them.
Focus on one email at a time and act on it! Try to touch each email only once.
- Delete it if it’s unnecessary
- Delegate it to someone else
- Respond immediately if it’ll take less than 2 minutes, or is truly urgent
- Defer it and respond later (but be sure to come back to it)
- Do: take any necessary action as efficiently as possible
- Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists to reduce your incoming mail.
- Use “canned responses” or copy & paste to save time replying
- Use rules and filters to automatically sort mail
- Use folders or labels to track deferred mail
- Move tasks to separate to-do or project lists