One of the main activities that I am very fond of these days is design. Especially designing and optimizing my activities. I’m tackling the small issues first to get the hang of fixing things. One of these so-called activities is ‘dealing with my email’.
Some people believe that email is broken. Well, I am now convinced that we’re the ones that are broken (or at least I’m the one that is broken). I’ve relied too much on tools, but in reality it was my habits concerning emails that were broken. I signed up for every service, magazine, blog, publication that piqued my interest. I had to digest so much to digest in so little time in the most unorganized manner.
I decided that I’ve had enough (ok, Franchere has been trying to help me understand this for years now) decided that I had to make email work for me again. I figured that the first step is too reach “Inbox Zero”. What is Inbox Zero? It’s a state that there are no more emails in your inbox. Why? The inbox is supposed to be a place for important emails, not a place to store ALL your emails.
Here are the activities I went through:
Reaching Inbox Zero:
- Unsubscribe to mailing lists that you do not need
- Manage your emails manually. Google’s filters (yahoo’s don’t work) are good for cleaning up emails, but not a good idea to auto-move emails when they arrive.
Maintaining Inbox Zero:
- Consume what you can. Maintain ONLY the subscriptions you need.
- Primary email, with backup. It’s hard enough to maintain one.
- When you receive an email, read it then decide what to do with it ASAP. (Archive, Delete, Forward, Reply or whatever)
- Use awesome email clients (that will fit your needs)
- OSX: I don’t like Apple’s default Mail app. I use Sparrow or Mail Pilot instead.
- Windows: Outlook. Thunderbird. For work I use Outlook, MailBird for personal use.
- Web: Google is better than Yahoo.
It took me a more than half a day to clean my inbox and I’m now enjoying it! Well, my personal emails are done. Moving on to work email. Zzz.
How about you? Have you reached the ‘Inbox Zero’ state? Any tips? Comments and suggestions are welcome.
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