Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tech Tip: Inbox Zero

Communication has always been important in both our personal and professional lives. This is because communication is not just about sending and receiving messages: communication is about building and maintaining relationships.

Many years ago, the cornerstones of communication in the business world was mail and memos. In fact, whole departments were devoted to ensure proper flow and delivery of these messages. Recipients had to have a method of filing for record keeping and of course respond to those messages.
As time has gone on, email has taken over as the primary communication method between co-workers, vendors, and clients, but we haven’t changed our method of managing those communications.

Have you ever looked at your inbox and have been anxious by how many messages needed some sort of action?

Have you ever found yourself looking at your folders that originally worked, but because of changes over time, no longer work perfectly and thought to yourself, “I need to re-organize these,” then just never find the time?

You are not alone. With email being an important part of our daily business, it has become necessary to have an efficient method of managing and processing those messages. Without an effective system, email bankruptcy ( aka email fatigue ) becomes a threat and important messages can be missed.

This is where I personally found Inbox Zero plus the tools of email powered by Google Apps to be extremely useful. Instead of having extensive and unwieldy folder trees that require time to maintain. Inbox Zero only needs a small handful of folders (labels).

Between the few folders (labels in Gmail) needed with Inbox Zero and the powerful search tools of Gmail, my inbox is always manageable and clean. I don’t know about you, but I like having a clean inbox.

I had a client not too long ago give Inbox Zero a try. He ran for about two weeks with inbox zero in one of his Google Accounts using the Gmail interface and used his old method of managing email in Outlook with another account. After the trial he informed me that he can no longer take using his old method. He continued by saying he would physically become ill every time he opened up Outlook and how happy he is now with Inbox Zero with Gmail.

So, I have to ask you, do you want to take the challenge and find a new method of managing your email?