One of the best practices of getting organized and streamlining your work flow is creating a place for things that come into your world. Creating a collection point for work you need to do is a great way to get started.
I actually have three different Inboxes.
1. Email Inbox
All of my email addresses come to one place, and I empty that Inbox daily. It’s honestly not that hard if you use a few basic rules.
I try my best to use the OHIO principle – Only Handle it Once. My Inbox is not a collection point – it’s a holding point and my goal is to get it out of there as soon as possible.
My other email rule is the two minute rule. If it’s something I can do in two minutes or less, I do it right away. 90% of my email can be handled this way.
2. Evernote Inbox
My favorite online tool is a free program called Evernote. It’s a digital filing cabinet and I use it to save everything. From product feedback to blog ideas to research for projects – if it’s worth keeping it goes into Evernote.
I created a default folder called !Inbox. Whenever I sent something to Evernote via the web or email it goes to the Inbox. Once a week, I clean out that Inbox, assign tags and move items to the right folders.
If you want to learn more about Evernote, I highly recommend this eBook by Brett Kelly called Evernote Essentials. It’s so good I bought a copy for everyone in my Get Organized Now course.
3. Physical Inbox
I have a physical inbox in my home office for papers, bills and other stuff that comes into my house. It’s a simple two level letter tray.
The top level is stuff to process – bills to pay, items to read, stuff I need to do. Creating a place for this stuff keeps it from being all over my house. The bottom level is processed stuff I want to save. Once a month, I clean out the bottom tray, scanning most of it using my Doxie Scanner and sending it to Evernote.
Those are my three different Inboxes and uses them have really helped me streamline my work.