To properly process your email is a great habit and a pillar of good email practice.

Processing means that every email is assessed from the point of view of what action it needs from you, if any. It is then either acted upon or listed or planned for later action.

Almost all incoming email can be processed according to this flowchart.

(If you for any reason can’t see the image, you can see and/or download it here.)


- Emails that are for someone else to take action are forwarded immediately.

- Emails that are for your action means either Do, Save och Trash. 

- Anything that can be done within two minutes, you can carry out instantly. The rest goes on an actions/todo list or a calender.

Tomorrow we’ll be covering “Do”.

Exercise: Give it 10 minutes to process emails in your inbox this way. The result should be that they disappear from your inbox, and that you feel pretty good about yourself afterwards.