I finally got around to listening to Merlin Mann‘s “Inbox Zero” talk. I really wanted to hear how much I was getting right, or wrong. I like the general approach and recommend you listen to the first 30 minutes (the rest is Q&A), but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed because:
1/ He has no good solution for TODO list :-(. I’ve tried Remember The Milk, but it doesn’t work for me. I guess I’m back to my TODO.txt file on the desktop…
2/ as one of the question suggests, this is more applicable to private email than it is to business email. Merlin seems surprised that some people get hundreds of emails a day. This depends on the company culture, but Sun certainly does a LOT of email and I would imagine that any open source developer also gets hundreds of emails a day.
I think that for many power IT users, the #1 recommendation should be to get off of most of the many mailing lists they sit on (whether they explicitly subscribed to them or if they were added). Of course, filtering would help here also – if you’re not in the To: or Cc: list, then it’s a mailing list.
Update: Oh, and one thing that’s been working for me quite nicely is to actually close my mail client for an hour from time to time. As Merlin points out, the notification windows make emails appears much more important than they really are.