How to set up your intray

‘Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.’  A. A. Milne

Creating legacy and being organised

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s an important point: if you want to create legacy, you should periodically take a good look at your systems and make sure they are in as good a shape as they can be. Being disorganised is likely to be disruptive to your legacy projects one way or another; it’s best to take the time once a week or once a month to make sure you have good systems in place.

A handy system to organise your intray

Below is a handy little system I’ve learned from Mark Forster’s books about how to organise your intray. I know it sounds trivial, but knowing how to handle my intray has made it so much easier to keep track of important papers and keep on top of admin – which in turn means I don’t have to take time out from working on my legacy projects to sort out admin chaos.

So, if you want to take a grip on your intray, here is what you should do:

1. Find something that will act as your intray. If you already have one but it’s full of junk plus important stuff, take everything out and put it in one folder or box labelled backlog – and deal with it the way I explained in How to clear your backlog. So now you’ve got an empty intray.

2. As mail comes in, let it accumulate in your intray.

3. At the end of the day, put everything that is in your intray on your desk and start dealing with it. If you decide to leave anything for a few extra days, store it in another tray (I keep this other tray underneath my intray, so I don’t forget about it).

This system allows you to deal with any incoming paper items quickly and effectively at the end of your day, and make sure nothing gets forgotten about. Try this system out and let me know how it goes!

Do you have any handy systems you use to keep yourself organised? I need more ideas!

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Alexa Ispas

I am a social entrepreneur, blogger, and talent scout, interested in helping people who want to create legacy. I have recently completed my PhD thesis in social psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and am originally from Romania. I am writing a daily blog on creating legacy, which you can find at