The 4-Cat System – This new method completely fixed my “too many emails” problem.

I was starting to have that feeling that certain things that needed to get done, that existed in my email inbox, were getting overlooked or lost, among clutter and emails that had no importance at all.

A little background, my main email set-up is about a half-dozen email addresses created at my own domains, all directly sent to one computer’s Outlook 2010 account.  Admittedly, this is already not ideal because it’s not cloud-based, and thus a problem on this computer, means a big email problem to solve.  But that’s an issue for another day.

My existing system included too much “heavy lifting” – I would, on a monthly basis or so, organize the inbox by “sender” and then I would drag all my client emails into their own folder.  This was very time-consuming, because every single email must be dragged one by one, and when there’s about 1000 emails to work with, it’s overwhelming.

I’d been starting to learn evernote which is an organizational tool for other purposes, and I realized I really wanted a system of “tagging” emails in a basic way.  I call this method the 4-Cat System.   In Outlook, this takes a few minutes to set up, but the result experience is this.

I have 4 main “tags” I use for my emails:

  1. Do Now
  2. Do Soon
  3. Pending
  4. Archive

Then I have 5 “views” I toggle between:

  • To Process
  • Do Now
  • Do Soon
  • Pending
  • Archive

Well, you see the pattern.

The real trick – is…




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