A business organization I am involved with allows members to post questions to the group. It’s a way to crowd-source great ideas.

This was a question someone posted: I am perennially looking for ways to organize and prioritize emails. How do you organize your Outlook inbox?

Here was my reply:

My to-do list keeps me organized and sane. Any task I am not going to do immediately goes onto my to-do list, including emails I need to reply to, but am not yet prepared to send.

Once they go on the to-do list, I move the email I received from my in-box to an outlook folder. I then work off of my to-do list.

I have many outlook folders. While I could put these types of emails in one master folder, labeled “to-do” (and find them using the search feature), I prefer folders named for each subject—the electronic version of the manila file folders I worked with for the early part of my career.

Whether these emails are in their own folders, or in a “master” open-items folder, it is far better for me than having them clogging my in-box, which is much harder for me to manage and prioritize than my to-do list. And a full in-box, just like an old-school, full, non-electronic, desktop in-box, creates stress and overwhelm.

How do you manage your emails? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,