Confession time

by Volker Weber

Here are a couple of things you may or may not find surprising:

  1. I do not file my email in folders.
  2. I reply to email immediately.
  3. I do not have a todo list.
  4. I memorize my weekly schedule.
  5. I do not attend conference calls.
  6. Sometimes I do. But it is an exception.
  7. Cold calling me is a waste of time. Send an email.
  8. My inbox is never longer than one page.
  9. I do not have a PGP key.
  10. I do not want to know your secret.

Result: I always have plenty of time.


Maybe you should give lessons how you manage that. Or - better - write a book. Because you can do it from home ;-)

Thomas Lang, 2014-04-22 22:28

This book would not be very helpful. Everybody needs to find a system that works with his own skills. I have good memory, probably better than most other people.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-22 22:36

Most of it works for me as well, except I try doing more lists lately. For me, keeping it clean and simple is key. If that is not possible, I load it off (hence the lists).

Hubert Stettner, 2014-04-22 23:26

No scroll-bar in the inbox, amen to that.

Darren Adams, 2014-04-23 01:36

It might be time to re-think #9 ;-)

Gerhard Poul, 2014-04-23 09:25

Hahaha, brief and precise as always. And I share quite some of your points. Though would love to do the "no conference calls" thing as well ;)...

Ingo Seifert, 2014-04-23 09:48

Having just been engaged in rescuing a new client's 40Gb of old email from a broken store in which their entire business life seemed to reside, I thoroughly endorse your email strategy.

Nick Daisley, 2014-04-23 09:51

Re 2: you mentioned recently that you processed e-mails in batches - so it's not immediately, no?

I know that I let a new e-mail distract me when I'm procrastinating.

You mean 'as soon as I have read it', no?.

For me the big time-saver is 'no meetings'. My previous employers (very large engineering company) had these soul-destroying marathon meetings were no one was prepared and nobody took any decisions.

Andrew Magerman, 2014-04-23 11:09

Mailbox app on iOS ( works for me. Great tool for getting control over your inbox.

Kieren Johnson, 2014-04-23 11:45

I have 5488 mails in my inbox folder...

Jesper Kiaer, 2014-04-23 14:00

Jesper, move them to a folder "Old mail". It's going to speed up your work.

Andrew, exactly.

Gerhard, no, it's deliberate.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-23 14:42

I have a horrendous memory, but I do something similar. I leave everything in the inbox, and once every four months or so I grab it all and move it to 'Old Mail'. I have just three folders, and I only delete emails with big attachments. Space is cheaper than my time.

My mail is full-text indexed, and I find boolean searching is the best way for me to find things.

Mike McPoyle, 2014-04-23 15:32

This has been one of the best productivity seminars I've attended!

Ray Bilyk, 2014-04-23 17:35


Uwe Papenfuss, 2014-04-24 21:21

"I have good memory, probably better than most other people." Well, one way of doing it.
I have a bad memory, which is a good filter for my priorities.

Kristof Doffing, 2014-04-24 22:19

Indeed, it is. Just work from the top. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2014-04-24 22:23

So, if you donīt file your eMails into folder and your inbox isnīt longer than a page, .. do you then delete all the old(er) emails?? Or do you extract useful information and file it somewhere else (OneNote?) ?

Adalbert Duda, 2014-04-25 12:50

Mail is removed from Inbox, but still in All Mail. I do extract info into OneNote as well.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-25 12:58

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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