One of the terms of the moment is ‘Inbox Zero.’ This refers to when you finally manage to get rid of all your emails and you no longer have anything next to that little ‘unread’ symbol. However, it is becoming harder and harder these days to achieve that with genuinely interesting emails coming from retailers you’ve bought from or emails letting you know bills are coming out or friends wanting to catch up or work colleagues changing your calendar plans or other companies trying to organise a meeting with you. There are hundreds of thousands of different reasons as to why we receive email every day and usually the harder you work, the more emails and content you have to deal with.
We are here today to help you get to that sacred placed called ‘Inbox Zero’. We are going to give you 5 easy tips and tricks to help you manage your emails, learn which ones to delete, be more critical of yourself and more. We hope that after reading these 5 tips and tricks that you’ll manage to cut down the amount of emails in your Inbox by at least half, if not manage to organise them all in some way to reach Inbox Zero. So here are our 5 tips and tricks to get to Inbox Zero.
One of the best things you can start doing is archiving your emails rather than completely deleting them. We’d recommend doing this for one main reason: if you end up speed-deleting emails on your list and find yourself accidentally destroying an email you needed then you can easily find it again within your archived emails rather than it being permanently deleted. Google actually default to archive these days within their email applications on mobile platforms and their Inbox platform, which we will talk about later, also uses archive over delete to get rid of your emails from your inbox.
Set a Time To Check It
One of the best ways to keep on top of all your email is to have a set time to check it. If you’re someone who finds themselves at work all day and never have time at work to check them there, then maybe on your commute to or from work is a good time to do it. Apparently two hours after wake up is our optimum brain power time, meaning if you get up at 6AM and are on the bus/tram/subway to work, this is the best time to trawl through those emails and come up with logical thinking to responses and to which emails you should be getting rid of.
Another technique would be to set yourself, say an hour, at home after work to trawl through your emails and organise them then. This way, you have had your evening meal and have had an hour to relax at home with the family before then getting back into the working zone. Plus if you limit yourself to an hour, you can stop if you don’t get to Inbox Zero that day and allow yourself the rest of the evening off. This means you’ve got an hours worth of emails checked up on and still have time to spend with your family or spend time doing something you enjoy during your downtime.
Be Harsh On Yourself
When it comes to email, one of the biggest problems is trying to realise which emails are actually important and which can be deleted. Two primary examples of this are: if you get emails from companies trying to sell you things or you get emails from Amazon/eBay etc to tell you your bid was beaten or such, turn these off and delete them. You get notifications on your phone for the exact same use and these can be checked during your downtime and won’t take up space in your inbox. In addition, if you’ve got a long thread of emails with people and the conversation has come to an end, archive the thread and carry on looking through your emails, end of conversation chatter isn’t necessary.
Use Inbox by Google
We usually wouldn’t force a programme down your throats, but Google have really smashed email with their Inbox application/service. It’s essentially an email client that categorises your email down into sections, similar to how gmail already does and then allows you to bulk archive emails (promo/social etc.) or choose to see them later. For example, if you have an email that doesn’t yet require your attention and yet you want to make your inbox cleaner, you can archive the email until tomorrow morning or evening for example. It’s a great tool that is helping people be harsher with their email, helping people still manage to get their emails sorted and helping reach Inbox Zero faster.
Turn Your Email into a To-Do List
Finally, if you struggle to get your email sorted into what you need to look at and what can be done with, we’d recommend sorting it into a To-Do list. Todoist comes with a Gmail extension that allows you to attach emails as To-Dos for you to look at later. You can either do it this way or you can read through your email and then quickly insert any necessary content into a To-Do for a later time. This allows you the ability to delete the email and set the task on your To-Do list rather than have it clutter up your inbox.