Find more time in your day, Tip #6: use special symbols to focus your attention
Once you get on a roll and start filing your email in folders (or putting labels on them in gmail), you can end up with a ton of different folders and you’re scrolling, scrolling, scrolling to find what you’re looking for. Using special symbols like asterisks (*) and exclamation marks (!) moves those ever-so-important folders up to the top where you can see them quickly. This works because computers sort (organize) things using special special symbols first.
Another option is to use numbers, so, for example, you could use 01 for the top priority item, 02 for the next, etc. Why the “0” in front? ‘Cuz I’m assuming you might get to 10 folders and you’ll want to start with “1” first. Computers aren’t smart enough to say “hey, that’s a 1 and that’s a 10, put the 1 first.” So you’ve got to lend a hand.
This is also a great way to quickly see what folders have an unread message when you’re automatically filtering/sorting your messages using Tip # 3: automatically sort your messages as they arrive.
- Decide what folders (or labels in gmail) are the most important
- Rename the folder using the Rename function for the tool you use to read your email
- Position your cursor at the beginning of the name
- Type a special symbol such as an asterisk (*), ampersand (&), exclamation point (!) at the beginning of the file name (you can also use A, B, C or numbers like 01, 02..10,11)
- Save the folder or label
- There ya go…now you can see what’s most important right at the top of your email list