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Effective time management is an indispensable skill. In Time Management Fundamentals, Dave Crenshaw explains how to sensibly allocate time in order to achieve greater productivity. Dave details a set of principles for staying organized, consolidating the workspace, keeping a clear mind, and developing a time budget. Also covered are techniques for managing a full inbox, processing email, and reserving time for the most important activities. Exercise files accompany the course.
Do you hoard email in your inbox? If so, you're losing a lot of productivity from the little attention switches that come from disorganized email. Because of that, we need to set up a very quick and easy method for filing email. If you get a lot of email like I do, you might find the concept of filing away email to be a little intimidating and horribly time consuming. There was a time when I would create separate folders and put individual emails into their separate folders. However, with the very effective search engines that are available now for email programs, there is actually no need to subcategorized emails that you've processed. This applies to any of the new email search engines, such as Outlook, Mac Search, and Gmail's robust search engine.
So let's make this as simple as possible. All you need to do is create an email folder called Resource. You can do this in Outlook by right- clicking on personal folders, selecting New Folder, and then naming it Resource. To make it easy to find again, I'll also take that Resource folder and drag it up into the favorite folders window. Then whenever I'm done processing an email by walking it through the "what, when, where" processing system I answer the question, where is its home, by dragging and dropping email into the Resource folder.
I do this with every kind of email. Don't worry about subcategorizing it and putting it into separate folders. That would just duplicate work that's unnecessary. Email search engines allow you to quickly and easily find email with a simple text search or a more advanced search by date sent, sender, or subject. If you do find yourself searching regularly for certain search terms, many email programs give you the option for a pre-sorted search.
Outlook accomplishes this by creating a search folder. In the folder list to the left, you'll see Search Folders. When I right-click on it I'll see a window pop up and I'll select New Search Folder. Then I can search for certain criteria. I can find mail to and from certain people, or I can put the name of someone that I search for email the most. Then I click OK and it'll add that person into the list.
This allows me to have a folder I can look at with a single click, but it saves me the time of sorting email into different folders. When it comes to filing your emails, keep it simple. Just use a single folder and everything you process just throw it into that folder and let the search engines do the work.
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