Is Organizing Your Email a Waste of Time?

January 18, 2012

For the GTD (Getting Things Done) adherents, the title of this post might be akin to heresy!

But that is essentially what Michael Schrage is saying is true based upon research conducted by IBM (click here to read his post).  They found that people using the email search features usually found what they were looking for faster and with fewer errors than people using complex email file folder systems (like me).

At first, I rebelled slightly at the thought of not precisely filing my emails, but then I began to reflect on how I am using my email folders and realized that while my folders helped to a certain extent, I was actually relying more now on my search function in Outlook to find what I wanted more than the folders and that the folders were actually hindering the use of the search function.

I don’t think I am quite ready to get away from my email folders yet, but I am about to simplify them greatly – today!

One question Michael asks that bears repeating is are you spending more time thinking and reflecting on how to get better organized than you are on accomplishing desired outcomes?

Blessings on your day!