One of life's great hassles is dealing with an out-of-control inbox, and 90% of the culprit is commercial mail – coming from companies that you've likely bought something from in the past, and have taken it upon themselves to email you forever after that. Never fear though! I'm a huge fan of helping people manage their inbox, and I'm happy to share one of the coolest life hacks I've learned by far with you today, called "Inbox Zero" Ready for a method of inbox zen that can help clear the way for maximum focus and productivity?
The philosophy is simple: your inbox is a To Do List, and each item therein is a task on your list. Essentially there are 4 main actions to take on an email:
• Delete – puts the message into your Trash folder. This is the recommended choice after you have read an email which has as its sole purpose to convey some information (especially time-sensitive). Most commercial mail falls into this category, as companies are generally trying to sell or inform you of something that will not be very relevant after a certain time period.
• Folder – removes the message from the inbox and puts it in a folder of your choosing. This is the most granular and organized way to deal with email, but can feel a bit tedious if you feel you need to sort every message into a specific folder. It's best to "gut check" yourself here, as it's tempting to create a ton of folders if you have a burst of inspiration, but doing so can leave you paralyzed to maintain that system for the long run.
• Archive – removes the message from your inbox and stores in an Archive folder (aka "All Mail" in Gmail). This option is recommended for messages that you don't want to delete, but don't need a specific categorization. Most people I tell about this worry that removing a message from the inbox will make it harder to find, but email search is unbelievably fast these days, and an email will be just as easy for your computer to locate in the Archive as it is in the Inbox!
• Snooze – temporarily removes the message from your inbox, and brings it back at a date and time of your choosing. This is one of the coolest features of modern email apps, and one reason I like to explore different options than the simple Mac Mail offering installed on Apple computers by default. Snooze is exactly like it sounds, allowing you to decide to deal with a message at a later date or time.
Using these 4 tools combined you can eliminate everything from your inbox, except the items that actively require your attention in the moment. If you're curious to learn more about inbox mastery please do reach out and we can help you get to the coveted Zero Inbox in no time. ;)