Treat your email more like Photoshop
My pal, Colleen, has written up a short, designer's take on handling email. She suggests you treat messages the way you'd handle Photoshop PSDs; streamline, automate, and fear not the rule nor template:
Once you’ve done enough of the same kind of work in Photoshop or Illustrator—say, resizing photos or creating a certain size of flyer—you devise ways of creating your templates quickly...
Apply the same principles to processing your inbox and you will vastly reduce the time you spend horsing around in your email client. There are as many “best practices” with email as there are organizational gurus, but the same principles generally apply:
- Handle things once
- Process all at once, at scheduled times
- Clear your inbox, don’t use it as a holding bin
Right on. And as good a point as ever to re-point-out my beloved MailTemplate, which is still the easiest way I know of to create customizable boilerplate templates for Mail.app and Entourage.
Random Bonus: Here's some video (direct MOV download) of me interviewing the MailTemplate/MailTank guys at Macworld back in January.