Anybody have an effective suggestion for handling this email InBox conundrum?

With physical mail, I could divide the incoming missives into piles marked

  • Act
  • Delegate
  • File
  • Toss

and respond accordingly.

Another version made a distinction:

  • Respond now
  • Routine or schedule
  • Reflect
  • Trash

What I’m finding with my emails is whenever I’m uncertain how to answer, I put it aside – where it’s likely to wither and die. That is, if I don’t respond immediately, the message gets lost in the clutter.

I’ve thought about setting up a basket specifically to hold these cases, but once they’re out of sight, they’ll be out of mind. From my perspective, there’s no place to really put something aside, at least where I’ll see it but it won’t get buried. A pile for reflection sounds like limbo.

Anyone got a workable solution? Help! Tell us all!



    • Do things still get lost in the piles? If something’s not “urgent,” it easily falls into limbo. But maybe it’s time for me to reconsider the focus of my Gmail activity. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Well, the filters sometimes glitch so they aren’t perfect. I haven’t lost anything important yet. The worst that’s happened is something ends up in Spam that I have to move.

  1. emails are a necessary evil, and apologies, but I have no solutions other than wade through them all every morning and get it over with.
    If anyone does have some good ideas though…

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