My favorite formal session of Inman Real Estate Connect last week was the keynote address. Merlin Mann of 43Folders.com discussed “Inbox Zero” — action based email management and a system to curb the problem of email overload.
As I sat in the presentation, reviewing email on my blackberry at the same time, about all I could think of was, “Inbox zero, are you effing kidding me? I’m more like Inbox 8,000!” (turns out I was pretty close as evidenced in the screen snip above, taken straight from my email client this morning.)
Oh I’ve tried. I set up several dozen archive folders once. The plan was to have this detailed filing system so I could always find any email ever sent.
That didn’t work.
Just Do It
Today I set out to implement some of Mann’s Inbox Zero approach. What I’ve found so far is that it’s not so much a system as an attitude.
With apologies to Mr. Mann, in a nutshell Inbox Zero focuses on the five (and only five) things you can do with email:
And that I did. Here it is, about 12 hours later (minus time to go buy and install a new battery for the Jeep and keyboard for the desktop) and I am finally at a point where I can claim success.
The real test comes over the next days, weeks and months.
But I’m committed.
Inbox Zero (well, 4 actually)
Here is what the inbox looks like now:
From 8,907 emails in my inbox to 4 (and those 4 all arrived while I was writing this. Inbox Zero practices tell me, “Don’t rush over there to check those!”)
Note the increase in Templates from 1 to 16. I wrote “canned answers” to questions we commonly get that can be answered in a generic fashion — typically with a link or two to old blog posts and minimal text. Now when one of these 16 questions come in, I can go to the template, address and send it and DELETE the original email.
This is a beautiful thing. Why did I wait so long?
There’s more work to do, particularly wading through almost three years of archived email. I think to tackle that task, I’m just going to dump the archives on a CD and then delete them all. That will feel good. I honestly can’t remember the last time I dug into them. But I just can’t quite let go (yet) that I may need something there some day.
For More Info
For details on Merlin Mann’s Inbox Zero, see these links:
Inbox Zero: Action Based Email – a great overview, links out to the series.
And here is link to an Inbox Zero talk Merlin did at Google. It’s an hour long, but worth a listen…
If you feel overwhelmed by email (and you know you do) you owe it to yourself to read through Merlin’s writings, or watch the video (and really, you can pretty much just listen).
Do it. Do it now.
Techie’s guide to NAR’s mid-year meetings
Are you coming to NAR’s Mid Year Meetings in Washington DC on May 11-13? If so, here’s a quick and dirty guide to what to check out and where to grab a cocktail. If you are going to be at the meetings please be sure and let me know, in the comments or DM me @nartech. I’d love to meet the Agent Genius crowd IRL.
Follow Along at MidYear Live
Even if you aren’t going to be in DC you can still follow the action at Mid Year Live.
Midyear Live brings all the news and conversation about the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo direct to you. Visit Midyear Live between May 11-14 to check out Twitter and Facebook coverage, follow featured NAR members as they attend the event, and view news reports and recorded sessions.
From the Center for Real Estate Technology—Throughout the meetings…
Starting Tuesday, May 11, CRT is sponsoring the Wi-Fi area in the Marriott Wardman Park in the Maryland Foyer. It will be available 24 hrs a day thru Saturday 2pm.
The Bloggers’ Lounge opens at the Omni in the Forum Room, Tues – Thurs 10am – 6pm and Friday from 10am – 4pm.
Wednesday May 12: Business Issues Committee 10:00 AM-Noon, Marriott Wardman, Salon 3
This is where technology policy issues are discussed. If you have an interest in issues like data security and privacy, net neutrality and other tech policy issues, come and observe the Business Issues Committee and say hello. I am one of the staff executives for this committee.
Wednesday May 12: Tweetup 5:00-7:00 PM Marriot Wardman Park Lobby
To RSVP and more info.
Wednesday May 12 Raise the Roof Event 5:00PM-8:00PM Tabaq Bistro, 1336 U Street
Cocktails and Hors D’Oeuvres on trendy U Street. RSVP to email@example.com with your full name and company by May 3.
Thursday May 13: Business Technology Peer Breakout Sessions 8:00AM-11:00 AM, Omni Shoram Ambassador Room
Garron Selliken, Todd Carpenter, Heather Elias, Keith Garner, Tina Merritt, Jeff Allen, Kelley Koehler, Dale Chumbley, Nobu Hata, Greg Carpenter, among others will be on hand to discuss tech topics that all real estate professionals should know about. Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Market Stats, Converting web leads to clients, mobile apps, and other business tools will be discussed during these informal conversations.
Thursday May 13: Business Technology Forum 3:00PM-5:00PM, Omni Shoram Empire Room
Hear what industry thought leaders have to share about today’s and upcoming tech trends.
Jeff Allen, Heather Elias, Garron Selliken, and Aaron Wheeler share their experience & insights on how technology is impacting their day-to-day business. Audience questions are welcome.
Friday May 14: LinkedIn Breakfast 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM, Omni Shoram, Bloggers Lounge
Join Todd Carpenter and other NAR LinkedIn members for coffee and danish. For more info
If you know of something I missed, please let me know in the comments. Hope to see you in DC!
National Association of REALTORS Convention 2014
It’s Novermber 2014…
I can’t wait to go through Finance World where we find the latest on nano-mortgage technology from Bank of United States (the company after the B of A/Citibank/ J P Morgan Chase merger) where an iris scan and fingerprints get done and the each borrower with less than 20% down get to do the new PMI, Person Mortgage Insurance, where they assign one of their friends or relatives as collateral until the loan gets paid down to 78%.
Ah, then the new key sharing device from GeBallMart (the merger result of GE, Major League Baseball and Wal-Mart) which makes your take the SATs again (paying the 475 Euro fee) in order to do a digital iPhone7.9 puzzle in order to be escorted into a property from a member of Blackwater Realty Security Services (a subsidiary of the CIA- a deal made in order to get people health care).
Ah, and the special speakers. There’s inspiration on how to turn your life around when there are only 11 trashy women in your life that you sleep with. Amazing how you can go from one sport to another and then to another and go from the lowest lows to the highest highers. Yes, I am talking about Professional Bowling’s superstar, Tiger “Balls” Woods.
I can’t wait to hear was he has to say about life’s ups and downs now that my fellow agents and I have had the commissions we make revealed to the buyer before they even see a house and how the government maximized the maximum amounts to $500 for door opening/agreement and $1000 for door opening/agreement and settlement attendance.
Just like the mortgage brokers that got messed with in 09/10, we should have seen it coming but instead we lived high on the hog and laughed at the public and especially Congress.
But I can be thankful for the fact that I don’t have to fly on UseLess Airline and stay at the MarryRot in the beige rooms with the bed bugs that are the size of New York rats, I can stay home and see all that’s happening on my SuperMac 7 Apple computer with smellovision, video and scan-pay ability.
The best and the worst part is no real hangovers!
Inman’s Got Enough Money. Let’s Give Some To MFFO
It doesn’t get any better than this – you can actually get Inman Connect Tickets and help a charity at the same time! I was the lucky winner of Inman Real Estate Connect Registration Passes and with the creative help of some friends (thanks @tcar and @andykaufman) decided to auction them for charity.
I’m sure @jbern had no clue what was going to happen when he started the competition: What’s Your Tweet Worth? ….between Jay Thomson’s raffle and this auction, there are some creative minds at work to help our colleagues as well as great charities.
So here’s what I would love for you to do –
2 spread the word **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **
4. spread the word again **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **
The highest bidder will win full registration to Inman Connect San Francisco (both Inman Connect and Blogger’s Connect passes) and proceeds will go to Mothers Fighting For Others (that’s a $939 value). What are you waiting for??? Go Bid! We will be announcing the winner before the weekend.
**thanks for the tix Inman!! Let’s see how much money we can raise**
Will cash still be king after COVID-19?
Google Maps will soon display traffic lights
Plastic bags are making a comeback, thanks to COVID-19
Scammers are taking advantage of the unemployed
PopCom designs smart vending machines to automate regulated products
HEROES Act could increase unemployment stimulus benefits, add return to work bonus
A closer look at the HEROES act, and who stands to benefit the most
The White House pushes for $450 per week return to work bonus
Managing bipolar disorder and what I wish my employers understood
The Apple Watch isn’t just a way to ignore calls, it could save your life
Anti-surveillance mask – creepy, ingenious, or potentially illegal?
Amy’s Ice Cream founder on Austin’s business risks and rewards #WhyAustin
Turns out a lot of people are in between introverted and extroverted
P. Terry’s founder on the booming economy in Austin #WhyAustin
Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. National Anthem
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