Inbox zero sounds impossible right? I’m here to tell you that it isn’t and it will finally set you free from that feeling of dread when you open your email. Here’s how to get to inbox zero for both gmail and yahoo email accounts.
- Turn off email notifications — Instead of getting email notifications randomly throughout your day interrupting your consciousness and concentration, you decide when you put your attention towards your email.
- Choose times in your day to process email — Choose times in your day that you will devote your complete attention to email. I check email when I wake up, at lunch time, after work, and then after dinner. There is no email that can’t wait for a couple hours. Plus with time set aside to focus on it you can actually act on priority emails. I get a lot of email so I check during processing times and then devote time after the kids go down to seriously respond to emails.
- Respond right away on easy questions — Don’t wait to reply to quick emails from friends or family with questions. My goal is to not touch an email twice that is in my inbox.
- Delete with abandon — Delete emails and don’t feel bad about it. I do a lot of deleting.
- Create a folder or label entitled “Action” — For emails that require more attention, put them in a folder or label them “action.” I know that some emails can take more time, so put them in a different place to return to. Then archive.
- Create a folder or label entitled “Events” — I find that I get a lot of emails about different events I may or may not want to attend. If I can I respond right away, but sometimes I have to check my calendar. So I label them events and then I archive them.
- Create a folder or label entitled “Speech” — I’m assuming you get a lot of emails from different speech paths or that are speech-related. File them here, unless you need to take action on them so then put them in the “action” folder.
- Create other folders or labels that apply to your life — I have many different folders in my account: “Account info,” “Business,” “Family,” “Friends,” “House stuff,” “Kids,” “Job-related,” “Receipts,” and “Recipes.” Feel free to use mine or create your own! The key here is to make it easy on yourself!
- Check your spam folder every two weeks — Artificial intelligence isn’t perfect at picking out spam and many times when I go into my spam folder I find things that I would have liked to have learned about. Actually various different emails from people who sell products I like get mis-identified as “spam.” Make sure to click “Not Spam” on emails that were filed incorrectly by your email provider. You need to train the spam filters!
- Add automatic filters if you have Gmail — Gmail allows you to use filters to add labels to certain emails you always receive. For example, when I get an email from Apple, I have the label “receipt” added to it and I have it automatically archived (so I don’t see it).
Get back in control of your email by achieving inbox zero! I’m telling you the feeling is amazing. Good luck — let me know how it goes! 🙂