My Inbox Zero Method

Good Morning! I said I’d write a twitter thread about inbox zero, but it was kinda too long for one, so instead it’s a blog post. Here we go, I wrote this mostly as I worked on getting back to inbox zero yesterday.

I just got back from 4 days of vacation, and I had let everyone know I would be on vacation, so I didn’t get as many emails as normal (and outlook tells other people in your org that you’re on vacation before they send you an email). Thankfully I only had around 200 emails to go through.

I did hit inbox zero before I left for vacation, that lasted about 5 minutes. But I didn’t want to be checking my email constantly. I did checked it twice to make sure nothing urgent came in, and I responded to the one super urgent email I had.

So, here’s how I got back to inbox zero.

Ground Rules

  1. the inbox is a to-do list, but not the only to-do list
  2. you don’t need to be on as many listservs as you think, and if there’s a daily, or better weekly, digest for it you should be using that
  3. if you’ve dealt with an email it gets filed
  4. dealt with means that you have no current actions for it
  5. if you’re waiting on a response via email it’s dealt with
  6. if you added it to your formal to-do list it’s dealt with
  7. nested folders are your friend
  8. only have folders you use a lot