A look at the 1 folder email processing strategy PART I

The number one topic I hear from co-workers is I never have enough time to manage my email.  Most business owners don’t factor into their budgets the cost of email.  Email can be broken down in to two types, non Business and Business.  In 2001, Tom Jackson, Ray Dawson, and Darren Wilson put together a report showing the Cost of Email within Organizations.  The average internal email measured showed that non-business email initially accounted for 69% email received, whereas business related email was 31%.

Time spent on email

Translated to hours spent per the average employee it was 54 hours per year non business and 33 hours per year for business related email.  Thus the formula to use to calculate Cost = Total minutes * Email users * Average employee wage per minute.  These ratios are measuring internal email only; there is still external email to account for.  More and more email is increasingly becoming an expensive liability that can bleed a company from within.  What I am suggesting is not new.  I am proposing to offer my continuous process improvement skills to assist you or your business in managing your current email dilemma.  By applying just a few simple techniques you can be back on track to spending less time / money managing email and more time doing your job.  Please contact me at my personal email: noble@michaelnoble.name for a free consultation including an analysis of your current email liability and the opportunity to receive a plan to turn your liability into an asset.

Effective email management combines prioritization and organization into 1 simple key.  While the combining of these two concepts will take care of the bulk of your email management processing by itself, it does take interaction from you on a daily basis to 1 direct action you must take to streamline your time.

What is missing today is training consisting of prioritization and organization coupled with email security policies.  Therefore, it is not uncommon for people to create what is called a file folder tree.  This simple approach allows one user to create a new folder for every type of email they would ever receive, and as new email comes in they continue to create this maze of email folders, with unlimited depth per folder.  The amount of time spent creating folders within folders and then rearranging folders as new email comes in can be daunting.

No wonder it becomes such a chore to find an email from someone.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could effectively manage all of your emails in 1 email folders?  No longer would you have to scan the entire tree to find an email you need right away.  I invite you to take a look at this process improvement strategy and give it a try and see how it will improve your email management process.

There is just one key to effective email management and that can be summed up in one word, Action.  At its basic level taking an action is what determines whether you will spend hours or just minutes in effective email management.

EMAIL TRIAGE-“Anything you can deal with in less than two minutes, if you’re ever going to do it at all, should be done the first time you see it. It takes longer to read it, close it, open it, and read it again than it would to finish it the first time it appears”  David Allen http://tiny.cc/as6a4

In keeping with effective email processing strategies the key is to touch things 1 time and continue.  There are several articles touching upon email management and I will address this in PART II of A look at the 1 folder email processing strategy

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A ‘win-win’ Life


Everyday people are faced with the same choices.  From the moment you awake to the time you return to slumber you are in win-win life.  What is this win-win life I am talking about?

Life was created specifically for people to have the ability to make choices.  These choices can be better understood as decisions.  We make decisions our entire life.   What do I wear, what do I eat, where should I go, and is this the job I want? are but a few of the many decisions we make.  Decision making becomes a part of our character so much so it forms whom we are.  We are the product of our decisions.  Our life is a step by step continual change of process directed by our decision making.  You may have heard that the older you get the more you become set in your ways.  This means that you choose to make the same decisions every day.  History shows the longer you continue to make the same decisions the less likely you will change.

A ‘win-win’ life is there for everyone who will make the decision to recognize it.  Yes, it is as simple as that.  Let me explain.  How could the decisions you make every day be a ‘win-win’ decision?  I like to think of my art classes I have had in high school and college.  One of the first things the professors reviewed was the concept of perspective. Typically there are three types of perspective: visual, cognitive and mathematical.  Art is the visual or graphical perspective.  What I want to focus on is cognitive perspective.  Cognitive perspective is one’s point of view.  This is developed into what you may know as opinions, beliefs and experiences.  Cognitive perspective is developed when we are first introduced into this world as children.  It is as children, where we are taught an incorrect perspective concerning our decision making process.  While as children, we primarily are dependent upon our parents or caregivers, to guide us in our decision process.  Inevitably, we are taught that these decisions we make are categorized as bad, good or for some ok but could be better.  As we progress through life we now have a tool that forms whom we are by our experiences that decide what we believe, and what our opinions are.  This decision making tool is what how our future will unfold.

We can see that we are made up of the decisions we make in life.  The key here is to recognize that decisions in themselves are neither good nor bad.  The perspective on good and bad is based off of what society holds in the time you are living.  Still others rely on direction from books or tradition to decide for them.  These perspectives once again are based off of what someone put together at one time or another as a guide on life.  I’m not going to discuss in this article the history or morals, but instead to focus on how you can have a ‘win-win’ decision making process.  So let’s begin.

Let’s begin with an example.  You have before you the decision to leave your well paying job and benefits, and move to a new location with no job or place to live, limited savings and a failing economy.  What do you do?  Your first thought may be “no, that’s a bad idea because….”  Instead of looking at this as a decision, think of it as an opportunity.  This word carries a positive meaning, and will help guide you in the decision process to have a ‘win-win’ life.  In every decision making process, remember cognitive perspective is not based off of good or bad rather is an opportunity.  You will find with practice, that every opportunity you are faced with, your decision process will allow you to always have the ability to have a ‘win-win’ life.  So in the above example, whether you choose to stay where you are or to move, rest assured your opportunity in life will be no longer be looked at as good or bad, but as a ‘win-win’ decision.

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