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Why you need a Pending folder

Email rules many people’s lives. While it is a great way to communicate, if you let your inbox run wild, you have yet another chore to deal with daily.

One way I am combating the email beast is to use a pending folder. This is a place that is a temporary staging area for emails in process. A pending folder is a big help in keeping an empty inbox.

How to use a pending folder

The first thing you will need to do is create a pending folder. Since many people use Gmail including myself, I will use that as an example. If you use something else, the process should be similar.

Creating a pending folder

1. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail window.

2. Click Labels

3. Scroll until you see Create new label. Click on the button.

4. Name the new label Pending.

That it. Now the label is ready to use.

What to put in your pending folder

This is an ideal for when you are mobile. Here are a couple of examples of what you may want to put in your pending label:

  • emails that require research before replying
  • emails needing a document edited then re-sent
  • emails to read later
  • blog comment or reply notifications
  • emails that have to so with an item in your Tasks or to-do list

Why a pending folder helps

Having a staging area like this helps because you have made the first step in completing the task. If you are familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done, having separate places for different tasks is key to being efficient. Being efficient while mobile is a bit more difficult than if you are in the office, but still doable.

The pending folder lets you have one spot to look every time you need  to know what you have to take care of. You won’t need to sift through your inbox and re-prioritize each time you open your inbox.

Let us know in the comments if you have a better idea or how you use a pending folder.

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image Rex Roof

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