Is it your job to be a librarian?

I had some interesting conversations following my article last week about “Inbox Zero”. One thing I didn’t get around to mentioning was email organisation. Some people have developed extraordinarily complex systems of archiving emails. To those of us who use email systems such as GMail (where every email just goes into one big instantly-searchable bin), this is amusing to say the least. But even if you’re stuck with an old-school system, take a look at your filing system. Some people’s are so byzantine they defy belief, and the problem with that is not just that it takes a long time to think about where the email should be filed. The time-waster is when your filing system is so intricate that each folder only has a few items in it, and you can’t decide which folder the old email you’re looking for might be in. It’s not necessary. We have a tremendous ability to skim down lists, you know. A small handful of archive folders really is all that’s needed.

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