3 Folders max!
In addition to Pile, don’t file, I am suggesting to get rid of all your folders and subfolders in Outlook (or whatever mailclient). It is not worth the time setting them up, structuring, changing, adding new stuff to it! So, stop doing it 😉
What’s next? Just create 3 folders instead. For me it works best if I place them as subfolders of my inbox. Less to drag ‘n drop, right! I named the last one “On hold”. Why? I park here all the (incoming) emails that require input or feedback from others before I need to process them.
My second folder is called “Followup”, because this is for all the emails I need to followup and take more than 2 minutes to execute. This is like a personal todo-list.
And finally the first folder (biggest 1!) is “Archive”. This is the pile of emails. Everything that is dealt with or doesn’t need any action or attention any more, is moved here.
How do I find mails back? Easy, with Xobni (link with LinkedIn now!) or Google Desktop. I’ll bet you, that I am faster at retrieving any mail than you and your (old) tree of folders! And I can keep up much better with larger amounts of incoming mails as well, because it takes less time to save them “somewhere”.
Enjoy this lifehack,