Want to achieve the revered “Inbox Zero” status? Here’s how I did it in five minutes:
- Archived the thousands and thousands of emails in my Primary tab. Although these were all read and responded to, I didn’t need the mental and visual clutter of seeing them there every day. Now, if there’s an email in my Primary tab, I know it requires action on my part. As soon as I’ve read it and sent a reply / placed the related action in my calendar, it’s archived.
- Sent every single thing in my Promotions tab to Trash. Before I did that though, I unsubscribed to many of the updates I received. I’m a big fan of subscribing to things to make use of opt-ins or learn about new products or services, but I’m not shy about hitting the Unsubscribe link – it’s as quick as deleting the email!
- There were a few things in my Social tab I wanted to keep, so I archived them, but sent the rest to Trash.
Now, when I log onto my email, all I see are new messages. I quickly deal with the Promotions and Social tab (which are mainly newsletters from thought leaders I follow), unsubscribing / deleting or archiving each one.
Then I work on my Primary tab, reading and archiving everything I don’t need to respond to, actioning or replying to everything I do. If I can’t deal with it right then, or if it requires an action, I don’t leave the email in my inbox to remind me, I schedule it on my Google Calendar (typing in, “Reply Sara” or “Pay doctor”) and then archiving the email.
All my past emails are just accessible to me as they ever were through the Search function, but none of them sit in front of me.