Efficiency tip #468: Make a ‘todo’ bookmark category to keep URL-only e-mails out of your e-mail box.

One of the efficiency tips I’ve learned over the years is that you need to keep a tidy inbox.  One of the enemies of a tidy inbox is e-mails containing things you need to check out.  Because e-mail is like a network-centric data store, I’ve often get a note from someone that says, "Hey, check out this really cool website/gadget/video".  I end up keeping that e-mail in my inbox because I know I’ll have it at home or at work, when I might have a free moment to check it out.

One of the secrets to this is to synchronize your bookmarks across computers.  I use delicious with the Firefox plugin to do that, but you can also use other services like Foxmarks, Google Sync, or anything else that works for you.

Once you’ve got yourself synced, start a ‘todo’ tag and place a link to that bookmark in your browser toolbar.  Now when someone sends you that e-mail, click on the link right away.  You might find that you don’t need to review it later, but if you do (no problem) just save it to the todo category.  You’ll get to it later.

Having the ‘todo’ tag in your browser toolbar will serve as a constant reminder of stuff you need toTodo_screenshot
get to.  If you’re using a web-based bookmark presentation you can even make your homepage the bookmarks with that tag, allowing you to be constantly reminded every time you open a browser.  To see how it looks on my screen, check out the screen shot on the right.