How Pat Dryburgh Handles Email

20 February 2013

Pat Dryburgh, The Brooks Review:

I host my email with Google Apps, and access it using Apple’s Mail applications for both OS X and iOS. I use Gmail to filter and process common emails such as receipts or newsletters, but otherwise my email lives in one of two places:

In my inbox, and
In an archive folder.

I don’t tag emails, flag emails, or colour code emails. I read them, I respond to them, and I archive them. Weeks later, when I need to reference an email, I search for it.

I handle email at an even more basic level. I don’t bother with an archive folder. I just read my universal inbox in Apple Mail, which collates my seven different accounts into one list. I read the new unread messages and respond to as necessary1.

I don’t bother “moving’ messages into another location, the dealt-with mail just sits in my inbox marked read. In essence, I treat it like a social networking stream. I’m not aiming for inbox zero, just unread zero. I really don’t see the need to manage folders of email in an age of ‘unlimited’ storage.

1 If I have to deal with it at a later date, I do make a note in Reminders (with any relevant details) but the source email remains in the inbox. Managing email inboxes is too much hassle.