This is more of a

This is more of a problem at work that with my own private email, but here’s a guide to controlling your email.

First of all there is the e-mail that they’ve read and there’s no action associated with it and they don’t need to keep it for reference. It shouldn’t really be in there any more because it’s finished with and it should have been deleted. But… they haven’t got round to deleting it yet. So, for now, it’s just sitting there…

Second is the e-mail that they’ve read and there’s no action associated with it but they think they may need to refer back to it at some later date. That one really shouldn’t be in there any more either because it should be filed away somewhere. But…they haven’t got around to filing it away yet. So, for now, just sitting there…

Third is the e-mail that they’ve read and they’ve decided there is an action on it but they haven’t quite decided what that action is yet. The e-mail is parked there as a reminder that they need to do something about it… once they figure out just exactly what it is that they want to do. So, for now, it’s just sitting there…

Fourth is the e-mail that they’ve read and they’ve decided that there is an action on it and they have actually decided what it is that they want to do but they just haven’t quite got round to doing that action yet. The e-mail is parked there as a reminder that, when they get some time in between all those meetings that they have to go to, they really need to do that action that they’ve decided to do. So, for now, it’s just sitting there…

Fifth is the e-mail that they’ve read and they’ve figured out what it was that they needed to do about it AND they’ve actually done that action. But now someone owes them a reply and so the e-mail is parked there as a reminder that they have done something but the game isn’t over yet because somebody owes them something back and they might need to chase it. And if they lose sight of the e-mail they might forget that the thing isn’t finished yet. So, for now, it’s just sitting there…

Sixth – and this is the only type of e-mail that really belongs in an in-box – is the one they haven’t read yet.

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