I am a bit of an 'Inbox Zero' type person who likes to have an empty inbox at all times. I want to read a message once and then action it in some way.
There are only two actions that I need to consider:
- Moving an email message to an archive folder, once read; and
- Flagging an email message for follow up at a later stage.
I use Microsoft Outlook on my desktop computer and laptop, and I think the Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook is the best feature to achieve this outcome. Quick Steps assist users in automating common or repetitive tasks in Microsoft Outlook by applying multiple actions simultaneously to email messages.
The first Quick Step is set up to mark the email message as read before moving it to a specific archive folder. If I then want to find an email, I can sort or search the archive folder for it.
The second Quick-Step does precisely the same as the first Quick Step, but it adds a flag to the email message to indicate that I need to follow up on this email. I then add a 'Search Folder' for 'Flagged items' to my 'Favorites' in Outlook to quickly return to the emails I need to follow-up.
It's simple, and it works for me.