I was cleaning my INBOX some weeks ago when I’ve decided to give the GTD idea a try and I found an interesting fact – you do not need mail filters.
Why? I use filters in general to move different messages depending on sender or subject to certain folders upon receiving, but given the GTD idea that EVERY mail message must be processed, these filters seems to contradict with it.
How can one be certain that a message will be processed if it is delivered within a folder “Customers -> Very Important Customer” ? If it is in the INBOX I will definitely notice it, decide what to do with it and just after that move it to the respective folder. That is why I decided to remove all my mail filters after the initial INBOX cleaning and now nothing can escape from my eyes 🙂 That way you also pro actively delete all non important/not needed emails that otherwise just end up in some folder and you never read them.
Now that is the way I like my email – an empty INBOX folder with not a single message left behind.
P.S. It took me a total of 1 hour to clean up the INBOX initially with 8 months of emails in it – so don’t be scared it is not that hard – DO IT NOW!