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Simple Manifesto #30 – Inbox zero


This is part of our series on The Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 30th idea in the manifesto is:

Keep your email inbox empty. Is your email inbox overflowing with new and read messages? Do the messages just keep piling up? If so, you’re normal — but you could be more efficient and your email life could be simplified with a few simple steps. Read more.

Inbox Zero is greatness — when I can keep it up.

I’m a lot better at keeping my inbox clear at work vs in Gmail. I think it’s the lack of folders that scares me about Gmail.

When I archive I have a bad tendency to forget about the email and I break step 2e in Leo’s list of suggestions:

2e) If you need to follow up on the email later, or are waiting for a response, note it on a Waiting For list. Don’t just leave it in your inbox as a reminder.

As I start this post, I have 78 e-mails in my Gmail Inbox. DOH!

I have however gotten really good at filtering my e-mails with labels — but then they tend to sit in my inbox as reminders of things to do.

Of course once you get 20 e-mails or more in the list — what’s the point? They’re no longer easy to find or spot.

What typically happens is I let the e-mails build up during the week and then do a full inbox purge on the weekends, dumping out the old e-mails, but then where’s the fun in that?

That takes 20-30 min of my time on the weekends to go through and file or delete the e-mails I don’t need.

I just need to process, archive or delete each message as it comes in.

Then I can keep that new e-mail account smell and we’ll all feel fresh and clean clean.

What helps you achieve inbox zen?

Oh and BTW – I’m back to Inbox Zero in Gmail again. Sometimes we just need a good reminder and motivation.

Join us!

Write a blog post about the point above and then share the link in the comments below…

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April 9th, 2010


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