Home » Series: 7-days-inbox-zero

Put the 0 in 2011: 7 days to Inbox Zero

December 24, 2010

I’ve done more than my share of blogging and bragging about how I got to — and stayed at — Inbox Zero. But as the Yiddish proverb more or less says, “Man empties, and God laughs.” In practice this translates into what I will call the First Law of Inbox: Your email volume increases in [...]

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5 essential ingredients for effective e-mail management

December 25, 2010

Welcome to day 1 of my 7 Days to Inbox Zero game plan. Before you get started, there are a few things you may want to set up: Gmail: My method for getting your inbox to zero relies heavily on Gmail’s exceptionally powerful filters. So if you aren’t currently using Gmail, I recommend making the [...]

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Reduce the volume of your incoming e-mail with an e-mail “vacation”

December 26, 2010

It’s hard to empty your inbox if you’ve got a steady steam of inbound e-mail. The good news is that the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the perfect time to switch off the incoming flood. Yes, I’m talking about a vacation auto-responder — but not one that’s going to leave you with a [...]

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5 steps to emptying your e-mail inbox

December 27, 2010

You could get to inbox zero the way you probably have countless times before, by working your way through that pile one message at a time. That can be very time-consuming, and it also misses the great opportunity that an overflowing inbox provides: the opportunity to identify the message sources and message types that lead [...]

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Empty your inbox with Gmail filters

December 28, 2010

The heart of my system for getting to inbox zero and keeping my inbox on empty is Gmail filters: rules that do a lot of the work of processing my e-mail so that I can focus my attention on what matters most. If you’ve been following my 7 days to inbox zero, you’ve already set [...]

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21 Gmail filters that will empty your e-mail inbox

December 29, 2010

Anyone can empty their inbox in 7 days, if you give them enough coffee and don’t care about preserving their will to live. But if you want that shiny new inbox to stay empty, you need a set of filters (rules) that will help keep unnecessary e-mail from hitting your inbox in the first place. [...]

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TV for multi-tasking: 10 shows to help process your e-mail

December 29, 2010

We’re 5 days into the 7-day quest for Inbox Zero by 2011, which means we’re now at the drudgery phase. One of my productivity tricks is to save mindless, tedious chores for the evening, when I enjoy our home media setup by watching TV shows while I do my ultra-boring brainless tasks. But the week [...]

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Day 6: Stop using your e-mail inbox as a post-it

December 30, 2010

Welcome to 7 days to inbox zero, day 6. By now you should have cleared out at least 60% of your inbox — and accumulated a giant pile of messages in your three “systems needed” folders: “unsubscribe needed”, “filters needed” and “workflow needed”. You’ve had an introduction to Gmail filters as a tool for managing [...]

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How to create Gmail labels that help empty your e-mail inbox

December 30, 2010

Before you get get rolling with your new filters, you’ll need to set up some labels. I described my collection of alternate mail processing boxes (aka quasi-inboxes) in my first blog post about inbox zero, and offer more suggestions about label setup in my blog post on how to empty your inbox with Gmail filters, [...]

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4 steps to unsubscribing from unwanted e-mail

December 30, 2010

If you’re following 7 days to an empty inbox, you have set up three “systems needed” folders, which you’ve used to stow e-mail messages that didn’t hit your inbox in the first place. One of these folders was “unsubscribe needed”: a folder full of messages sent by e-mail lists and bulk e-mail systems that you [...]

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5 life lessons you can learn from emptying your inbox

December 31, 2010

You’ve probably got a handful of e-mails that are still in your inbox because you are, on some level, avoiding them. These e-mails, more than anything else, illuminate your core personal or professional blocks. Forcing yourself through them — the way you have to in order to empty your inbox — is not just a path to e-mail efficiency, but a very meaningful exercise in character-building. Here are some of the lessons that may lie waiting in your inbox.

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