When was the last time that you saw your Inbox at 0…

NOTE: I’m doing a FULL EMAIL PROCEDURE video soon!

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For the last 5 years, I have been using this 5 part basic process and applied it to every email and it has worked smoothly…. Now… these aren’t the bible and as I will now mention these are only the start to how you should break-down your emails and inbox. There is a lot more to come!

NOTE: This is more designed for startups/students and SMEs versus BIG organisations… As I understand the email policies… and data policies.

  1. Your Email is not your task list

You have to remove the notion that your email inbox is your live feed of what you have to do.

Your email inbox is the place for communication to be collected, not stored…

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To start remove the methodology that your email inbox is a storage location for “tasks”.

2. Extract the Actions

When an email comes through, be ruthless, you need to express the talent of finding whether each task has an action or not. An Action is anything that you have to do… essentially

3. Apply this as an action

Before replying, you need to add the action to your task management tool. This task management tool could be physical or on-line, I would recommend online as you can information and context to those actions.

Add the task to your task list before replying. Make it detailed — give context by making the task a “next action”, A “next action” is specific, it indicates what needs to be done next to complete the task. EG. Instead of “Write 150 Marketing Report” it would be “Research documentation for Marketing Report” — It needs to be what’s happening next to get the task done versus what is the overall goal of task. Unless the goal is the next action.

4. Extract the information

Take the information presented inside of the email and extract it with the task. Add it as a side-note to the task so that you have some context when completing the task. Additionally removing the content is very important, if there is a PDF that you need to read and you also need to store it — then remove this and apply it to the information storage system you are using straight away.

5. Archive the email

This is a very simple way of getting rid of the email from the stream, once you have removed the context and content of the email you can then remove this from your stream. Getting rid of it via the “Archives” folder, if someone mentions the email, the search feature comes in and breaks down where it is. This “desrcution” of email can go deeper, I used this very archive fast strategy in the early days, however now I have moved onto a email break-down of “Waiting-on folders” and “To-Read folders” etc… However I’d like to cover this in a video episode.

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👨🏻‍💻 Host of Keep Productive — talking about the future of productivity software here on Medium 👋🏻

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