In my last post, When An Idea’s Time Has Arrived, I wrote about the two different trends attempting to fix the Inbox: “Inbox Zero” and “Show Me The Most Important Stuff First.”
I’d like to propose a spin on the second trend.
Several years ago, after a day full of meetings, I finally sat back down at my desk at 4:30pm. My wife and I had plans for happy hour, so I only had about 30 minutes to plow through a day’s worth of emails.
So I did what I always did, I scanned the long list of unread emails looking to see who was trying to get a hold of me.
Email from a client or prospect? Open it. Read it. Process it.
Email from an unknown? It can wait.
It dawned on me driving home that my relationship to the sender was the thing that really gave me the most “scent” in deciding which email to open next.
The problem is that Gmail has no knowledge of my relationship with each sender.
But my CRM system does.
And that got me to thinking, “What if we brought the Inbox into the CRM system? What would that enable?”
For one, it would let me “bucketize” my Inbox based on emails not only from individual people, but also from categories of people: Customers, Prospects, Co-Workers, Partners or any other “bucketization” scheme.
Now I can to start with the Customers bucket, pick out which senders are the most important, process those, then jump into the Prospects bucket, pick out which senders are the most important, process those, and so on.
How helpful will being able to divide your Inbox into “relationship buckets” be for you?