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Taming the email monster 24 August, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately – a combination of a quick jaunt to Cornwall (to conduct a thorough survey of beaches in the pouring rain), pitching for some rather lovely new clients (you know who you are – welcome aboard) and an ongoing mountain of work.

In common with many others, my first morning back was spent deleting emails.  It’s not like it was all spam – our spam protection is pretty good. It was just stuff for the most part – although stuff with a couple of ‘must read’ mails hidden in the middle somewhere. Dealing effectively with email (and stuff in general) is quickly becoming a must-have skill (and sadly not one I seem to possess).

There are a variety of systems around. The one that generates near fanatical devotion is the whole Getting Things Done (GTD) movement based on the book of the same name by David Allen. It has spawned a multitude of websites and software tools to support the system (a quick search for GTD on Google nets over 29 million pages).

Foremost among these is 43 Folders which, together with the excellent Lifehacker, offers tip, tricks and techniques for doing stuff faster, better and with less stress.

43 Folders is written Merlin Mann who recently gave a talk at Google on dealing with email – a system called Email Zero. As with all the best things, is really simple common sense. Take a look (it’s just under an hour but the system itself is dealt with in the first 25 mins or so).

Now, admittedly, I haven’t managed to get to Email Zero yet but last night I did manage to get to Email Four which for me is something close on miraculous.

BTW there’s a nice post on 43 Folders about how Merlin has improved his presentations. Read it here.

Source: Presentation Zen



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