Quick notes with email and a ‘Done’ filter

Some people may use a journal, but I find using my email faster and easier to record things that I’ve done or things that I want to remember.

How it works

When I have information I want to save or to record a task I’ve done, I send it to [email protected]. A Gmail filter automatically removes the email from my inbox and labels it with Done.

This works really well for me, especially after have quick meetings with staff members or students. I can send a quick email to that address to help me remember or document what was said.

Setting up quick notes

I’m going to be talking about using Gmail, but you can use any email service that supports + email aliases and filters. With + email aliases I use the email address at work of [email protected]. This address is added to the suggestions after you use it the first time, or you can add it to your contacts under the name Done.

The second piece to set up is a filter. This filter will remove the email from the inbox and move it to a Done label. The filter looks at who the email is addressed to, in this example it is [email protected].

One caveat is that anyone can send email to that address, but I don’t really see that being a big issue.


Our days can sometimes feeling like we’re juggling 5 balls but have only reached competence with 3. By sending quick notes I can at least give me something to fall back on when I can’t remember if I did something or can’t remember what I did.

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