That is my email goal each day and I reach it within 20 minutes. I glance at each email header. Many of them I can swipe immediately to trash. The rest are skimmed and sent to one of my folders. If the action requested takes less than 2 minutes, I do it.

This is one of David Allen’s rules:

“1. Do it. If an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined.”

The rest go into one of these folders:

  • Action
  • Read
  • Waiting
  • Save

Occasionally I may have an additional folder for a special project, but I avoid having lots of little folders. I go through each folder once a day, and transfer items as needed. Items in the Read folder are either read, saved, or deleted. Sometimes after reading an article or post I’ll tweet it or save it to Pocket.

As the wonderful David Allen says:

“… [G]etting “in” empty doesn’t mean you’ve handled everything. It means that you’ve deleted what you could, filed what you wanted to keep but don’t need to act on, done the less-than-two-minute responses, and moved into your reminder folders all the things you’re waiting for and all your actionable e-mails.

Allen, David. Getting Things Done

Once a year I export all the emails in Save to a PDF file.