Audrey Gelman, CEO and co-founder of the ridiculously successful women’s co-working space The Wing, has a lot to juggle, with locations in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago, and new Wings to open soon in Los Angeles and Boston. Oh, and she’s also five months pregnant. We’d guess that her inbox was out of control, but as she tells The Cut’s “How I Get It Done” column this week, she actually has an ingenious hack for that, involving color-coding emails into categories with her assistant:


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“My assistant Penelope is in my inbox all day. We have a very elaborate color-coding system for my inbox with over 60 categories of emails. And then we have another category for action items that go at the top of my inbox so I know that I have to deal with them that day.

Penelope and I created these categories in order to triage and organize all the emails I get in a day. The colors make it easy to go back and find information in my inbox. I know it might sound crazy, but it’s the best way I’ve figured out how to get people answers and responses most efficiently, and not bottleneck information or decisions in my inbox.”

In fact, the elaborate system, once created, has actually helped her spend less time on email.

“The system also helps me spend less time on email during the day. When I have a break, even just ten minutes in a cab from a meeting to the office, I’ll send a dozen emails.”

And here we just thought hitting the “star” button next to an email on Gmail was the best way to prioritize.


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