My Simple Email setup with IMAP

I've recently switched my platform from Windows to Mac and when re-evaluating my email setup I found out I was using the "good old POP3" when there is IMAP which keeps my email synchronized between my Mac, iPhone and the Web. I also found out I only need 3 folders to get it to zero, just have a look for yourself:
Question: How is your email setup? Are you also using IMAP? How many email folders do you have?

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 (email,show)

Nov 12, 2009 08:57
Good tips on managing email, especially the 2 minute rule. One challenge - By living with a zero inbox you have to take action with every email. Why not have your reply and thinking but just leave everything else in the inbox? If you deleted what you know to be trash and mark all else as read you accomplish the same function with less work. It may not be as pretty but it makes better use of your time and keystrokes.
Michael Sliwinski
Jan 13, 2010 09:59
Zero inbox is a must. I'm taking action on every email, but really, most of them are either archived or deleted... only the rare ones go to [Reply] folder or are being replied right away in 2 minutes. Really, having inbox zero is something that is really great. You don't read unimportant messages so many times.
Tomek Blaszczyk
Feb 25, 2010 14:21
Why use IMAP when google supports MS Exchange on iPhone? You get mail, calendar AND contacts synchronized over-the-air in your iPhone. On mac 10.6 calendar and address book sync takes 2 minutes to set-up. No need to sync thru iTunes anymore -- which is lenghty and tedious and affects how effective you are ;-)
Michael Sliwinski
Mar 8, 2010 09:48
@Tomek - thanks, great tip on using Exchange on the iPhone. I use MobileMe to have my iPhone in sync with my mac. I have push-email turned off though. I don't like it when email is pushy and tells me I should check it. I'm checking it when I choose to. This way I'm not a slave to email.
Jul 8, 2010 04:07
Thanks Michael, interesting post, need to consider your setup. My initial reaction though is based on the GTD adage "you should only have a thought once unless you want to". Are you not having to think through your emails twice in this setup? Thanks! Craig
Michael Sliwinski
Aug 11, 2010 05:29
Yes, the emails in REPLY folder sometimes are being read twice, but usually after reading first lines of the email I know if I should keep reading it and replying in 2 minutes or if I should read it thoroughly later. I just found out that it's the best setup for me and so far I'm using it after almost a year later when I published this video.
Productivity, Motivation, and Personal Development Links – 22nd August 2010 - DIGTD - Making You More Productive
Aug 22, 2010 14:50
[...] fourth link is a link to a video blog entry from the founder of Nozbe titled My Simple Email setup with IMAP. This is very similar to how I manage my email that I must one day write [...]
Jun 1, 2011 10:13
I have more folders than this. I have @action (things that take more than 2 mins but need me to reply/act ASAP @waiting (when I'm waiting for someone else to reply/act @read (mail with reading matter I MUST read) @file (I put everything in here eventually and then file once or twice a week on my iPhone while waiting for something/someone) I then have a folder for each project or for personal things each 'area' of my life. When a project is over I archive that whole folder. It sounds more complicated but in fact is really simple to use and to find things or spend what would have been wasted time chasing people etc
My Simple Email setup with IMAP | GTD v praxi
Oct 14, 2010 07:20
[...] Michael Nozbe natočil krátky videocast o výhodách imap přístupu do pošty, oproti zastaralému Pop3. A samozřejmě jak svůj mail přizpůsobit pro Getting Things Done. A stačí mu pro spokojenost pouhé tři složky, aby Inbox zůstal vždy prázdný. Video má dvě minuty, podívejte se na něj tady [...]
Michael Sliwinski
Jun 1, 2011 13:41
@Alec, thanks for comment and useful tip! @Marisa - I like your system - looks also quite simple and very effective. Will try the @waiting folder. Thanks!
Alec Clews
Feb 26, 2011 09:26
I have some tips for setting up your email client (specifically Thunderbird) for GMail IMAP access. It makes a big difference to go beyond the default set-up. Even though the post is over a year old I've just reviewed it with the newest version of of Thunderbird and it's still very useful (IMHO). Handy Hack: Using GMail IMAP from Thunderbird effectively
Aug 13, 2011 11:17
Hello, I tried Marisa's system yesterday and it's great! But I'm trying to find my personal system. I changed the 2 minutes rule to a 30 second rule: if I can answer very quickly, then I do it right away (usually to say "thank you!"). If the answer is to take 2 minutes (which usually turns to be 5), I put it in the @Reply folder. I also use the @Action for tasks I have to do immediately (after my "e-mail session"). The @ is very important, so that the folder is at the top of all your folders. Last thing: when I put an e-mail into one of these folders, I mark it as unread, so that I can see how many tasks I have to deal with. For other e-mails, I add a task in Nozbe, with an note giving the necessary information to find the e-mail (sender, date, folder), and I put the e-mail in the project folder. I have many projects and a lot of folders, but my folder system seem to be ok since I manage to find e-mails quickly when I'm asked.
Brad Patterson
Apr 4, 2012 17:29
Two minute rule is simple and very effective. I deal with non-immediate actions (waiting/immediate/etc) through gmail's "star" function. Receive 100+ emails on 2 gmail accounts, and another 100 on another account thru thunderbird. Big fan of gmail, not a fan of thunderbird or outlook. Love the blog. Thanks Michael! Cheers, Brad