Have you ever seen a TV show or a movie and thought, “Holy crap, this is totally my life. It’s like the writers must be stalking me and my friends!”?
This has in fact never happened to me. But I did get a similar feeling when I read Zach Hanlon’s fantastic new article at Fast Company, “The Only Five Email Folders Your Inbox Will Ever Need“: “Holy crap, this is totally Timyo! It’s like Fast Company must be stalking Fabrice and Alfred!”
The title pretty much says it all, as the article delineates an easy and effective way to organize email. So what’s the trick? Per the author, it’s ditching subjects for deadlines:
The biggest mistake, in my experience, is creating folders based on topics. Emails, like meetings, rarely stay on track.
So if topic-based folders are the wrong way to go, what’s the right way?
Sorting your emails by time!
The italics are because if this isn’t your very first visit to timyo.com (and if it is, welcome!), you’ll know that fixing email with time is kind of our whole thing.
Fixing Email With Time
Hanlon’s five-folder system (the five folders, FYI, are “Inbox”, “Today”, “This Week”, “This Month/Quarter”, and, well, “FYI”) is a pretty decent approximation of how Timyo’s own inbox works, with one major difference.
With Timyo, when you receive an email from someone who doesn’t use Timyo (yet!), you simply swipe left and schedule it accordingly—
—And it magically appears in the appropriate folder.
However, when you receive an email from someone else who is using Timyo, they will have included their expectations in the header—
—And the Timyo-sent email will automatically show up in the right folder:
Not Just When, But What
Hanlon’s FYI folder is also a good idea, and also improved upon for Timyo users, since Timyo email lets you as a sender not only say when you want a response, but whether you want a response at all. You can also let your recipients know that you’d just like them to read an email (the default selection for people who are Cc’d) or that your email is requesting an action:
Today, or Not Today…
The whole article is worth a read, but I in particular liked the author’s litmus test for whether an email really belonged in the “Today” folder:
My rule is simple: If my wife asked me to come home early and I was willing to leave emails in the “Today” folder, that doesn’t mean I need to blast through them once I get home—it means those emails didn’t belong in that folder to begin with. I try and limit “Today” emails to messages involving customers, my boss, and urgent projects.
It seems like more and more people are realizing that the email status quo is untenable, and that time is the way to fix it. I’m excited, and hopeful, that Timyo gets to play a key role in that revolution.