I am not proud to admit that I spent some considerable time recently cleaning my bulging inbox. Am too embarrassed to admit the exact number, but rest assured a significant number of emails met their cyber maker. As I ploughed through - intensely committed to getting the unwieldy tool organised - I couldn't help but wonder how it got so out of control in the first place.
The process reminded me of editing major papers at university, when a successful afternoon was marked by the elimination of several thousand words. At that time I learnt how useful it was to establish processes and write succinctly at the outset - rather than investing copious amounts of editing time later. The same principle applies to my burgeoning inbox. It would be beneficial in terms of time and computer efficiency if the emails were filed or deleted as they were received, well before my hardworking computer slowed in protest, creeking under their weight.
The adages “Begin with the end in mind” and “Start out how you wish to continue” remind us of this principle and are applicable to business. Yet unfortunately many businesses start up or continue to operate without a plan, only taking action when the business has run into difficulty and adversely affected.
A good marketing plan is a business’s most cost effective marketing tool. It doesn't need to be cumbersome - indeed it can be presented in a page. But like the time invested in bulging inboxes or shearing words in editing a paper, a plan and its consideration of the market, customers and the shaping of your services to suit, will help avoid ad hoc and unnecessary expenditure in mistimed and ill designed business marketing activities.
Strategic planning is a fundamental business process which will increase the chances of business success – and to get it right from the beginning. Like unattended inboxes, doing it now will save time and money later. Very beneficial!
I can take heart from this: Einstein managed his inbox!
And tips from Cory Doctorow in managing email:Cory Doctorow's article
And from the super organised Get Organized Wizard - Michele Connolly - in Slaying the Inbox Dragon