I recently started using the “Superstars” labels in Google Mail in a new way that has totally changed the way I keep track of emails! It is something that sounds really small, but it works great for me — maybe it will work for you too?
I have 3 Superstars enabled the Red, Yellow and Green. (You starting to see where I am going here?)
Emails I have read and need to reply to or follow up with by sending back something, I mark with a green star. If I have an email that I want to keep in my radar, but I am not ready to reply to just yet (waiting for more information before a reply is ready or something like that), those get marked with yellow. Red gets used only when there is no need to reply to the email at all – but the email may hold some information relevant to something I am working on. I want it easily visible, but it required no action perse.
I know this system isn’t rocket science, but in the last few weeks that I have been using it, I haven’t had emails fall through the cracks or those situations where you thought you had replied and then a week later get a “you still there?” from your client.
This also saves time, since I am not re-examining read emails to make sure I’m on top of them. I can do a quick glance at my inbox and see by the stars what needs to get done!
Do you have any simple tricks you use that make a big difference in your work day? Leave a comment and tell us about it!