How NOT to handle Inbox

Usually we handle mailbox like this… which is the wrong way!


Of course we never reach the bottom…because something interrupts us.

Meetings, phone calls, people who are walking around, lunch … so many interrupts are around us.


Older mails are being pushed further down into the bottomless pit called Inbox


Due to this, everyone is pushing everyone else down and down and down … into an area which you are never going to reach…

Net result?


.. we call this TEAMWORK Angry smileSteaming madSad smile

Obviously, something is wrong here. What is it?

The Root Cause: Wrong prioritization

Yes. We have a genuine problem.

Too many mails and too little time to handle them

We need to prioritize which mails we respond to.

We think recent mails are important and older are less important. That is the WRONG way of prioritization.

The right way

Prioritization must be based upon importance. (NOT the importance flag. That is the sender’s perception of importance).

Sorting on any Inbox column is not useful for prioritization!

The right way is:

  1. Find a method of prioritization which is as automated as possible
  2. Prioritize on importance – the mail should be worth your attention
  3. Handle High Priority mails first and then think of remaining ones

In the next article we will see how this is done…