The Reason You Only Need Five Email Inbox Folders

Lauren Powell
PHOTO:

Hannah Roche for @anorganisedlife

We don’t know about you, but we're barely into week three of 2017 and our inboxes are already bursting at the seams. You too? We guessed as much. Managing email feels life-consuming and keeping on top of the endless flow of new emails seems equally as impossible. But, never fear, Outlook help is on its way! Fast Company’s marketing and sales expert Zach Hanlon has an email-conquering theory that has the potential to be life-changing.

Hanlon believes that using only five email folders could be the answer—yes, only five. “Stop organising your emails by subject and start thinking of them in terms of deadlines”, suggest Hanlon who attributes this hack to saving his sanity. Scroll on to find out the only five inbox folders you need (and how to use them), according to an expert.

1. Inbox: The inbox is a holding pen. Emails shouldn’t stay here any longer than it takes for you to file them into another folder. The exception to this rule is when you respond immediately and are waiting for an immediate response.

2. Today: Everything that requires a response today.

3. This Week: Everything that requires a response before the end of the week.

4. This Month/Quarter: Everything that needs a longer-term response. Depending on your role, you many need a monthly folder. Others can operate on a quarterly basis.

5. FYI: Most items I receive are informational. If I think I may need to reference an email again, I'll save it to this folder.

For more email tips, shop The Email Tamer ($17).

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