Foldering vs. Search
There's an argument that says: Keeping information in the right folders is too much work. Plus, you always want to look at the same information in other ways, and having it kept in folders makes it harder to find. So don't bother foldering. Instead, expect to use a search engine. Put another way: Don't bother to categorize electronically stored information; let search engines do that work for you.
This argument does seem to apply to a lot of electronically stored information. However, sometimes it doesn't. For example, sometimes it just takes too much time to run the search engine and fiddle with search criteria until you find what you want. Sometimes folders and categorization/tagging just feel like a far better solution.
One common approach is to automatically categorize email. However, this is often rather inaccurate.
Recommind's Decisiv Email is a useful tool that helps categorize email. Foldering is done manually, but is machine-assisted:
- It suggests suitable places you can file email, based on TO, FROM, CC, Subject, Content, and your past filing preferences.
- It displays a ranking/confidence level for each suggestion.
- Multiple categories/folders are possible, but only a copy of the original is kept.
- You can see what's been filed, and what hasn't been.
- Users can easily browse the various folders.
- Users can define their folder structure.
- Emails are filed into Recommind's own repository, facilitating search and sharing.
- Access controls apply to messages, so privacy is maintained.
- It works via an Outlook plugin.
When manual categorization is required, machine assistance is clearly the way to go. ... David Ferris
Email Overload: Declaring Email Bankruptcy
There is a new phenomenon happening behind closed doors in the corporate world. We call it email bankruptcy.
To illustrate, we would challenge you to an experiment. Assuming your email policies allow this, we dare you to simply delete all the email in your inbox that is older than three days and see if it causes you much grief. All of it.
Then wait for 10 days and see how much of it was really important.
Lest you think us extreme, we think you will be surprised with how much of the "work" represented by those emails simply "goes away." After all, much of what is in your inbox represents other peoples priorities, which are usually not the same as yours.
We are hearing of more and more people who have added a regular declaration of email bankruptcy to their strategies in trying to cope with information overload.
Taming your inbox is hard, but it's a necessary step if you are to increase your productivity and sanity. ... David Sengupta