Not too long ago dealing with my personal and work emails was turning into a full time job. Having countless subscriptions to mailing lists, trying to handle critical projects, trying to keep on top of communication regarding relocating to another country, it was all getting rather stupid. This is my solution to the hassle of email communication — project:inbox zero.

  • Set up an archive folder
  • Move all emails in your inbox older than a month to the archive folder
  • Decide on the remaining emails in your inbox which need actioning, keep these ones there, move the others to the archive folder
  • Now you have reached an inbox state that is maintainable and you will continue to maintain
  • Remove all automatic redirection filters to folders. Any email should enter your inbox and you decide if it gets deleted or filed in that folder
  • For new incoming messages be quick to archive messages that may be useful later but not actionable or delete messages with no later action/reference
  • Your goal now is to action off all the items in your inbox at all times to get your inbox message count to read the majestic ’0′ figure
  • Close you email client when you need to get on with work, else it will act as a distraction. Read your emails in the morning, lunch and 30 minutes before you go home, if anyone has something urgent they are likely to phone or instant message you.