Handling email

Halloween is the time of the year when we turn our attention to scary things. What scares you? For many, it’s opening email.


Email is a challenge for all-too-many of us, but it does not have to be. The key to handling email is to make a decision about each piece of email and decide what it means to you.

  1. Does the email contain information about a place you need to be?
  2. Does the email contain information about something you need to do?
  3. Does the email contain reference information you need to save?
  4. Does the email serve as documentation you need to retain just in case?
  5. Does the email serve as a reminder of what someone else should be handling?

One note…In the audio, you will hear a reference to Toodledo. I no longer use Toodledo. Instead, Remember the Milk is my digital task list. Read more about it here. Get started with it here.

In each case, the information needs to be saved, just not in the inbox. In my book, Get Organized!, we talk about making these decisions and then moving the email to its appropriate home.

In this video, Gene is an Outlook user. He now uses Outlook’s “drag and drop” feature to move emails to the calendar or task list. For those who use a web-based task list, forwarding emails directly to the task list is a way to accomplish the same end. An empty inbox at the end of the day can be a reality!

On this Halloween, we may deal with ghoulies and ghosties, long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night. However, handling email should never scare us.