Inbox zero? Naah.

inbox-etcYou may have heard of the movement called “Inbox Zero.” That’s the invention of Merlin Mann. The basic concept is that if you keep your inbox at zero by carefully putting all keeper emails in various folders and ruthlessly deleting the rest, you will be a happy camper.

My realities are: inbox 450 = happiness; sent box 50 = happiness; and trash folder 2100+ = happiness. I use Apple’s Mail for my mail client. My gmail account and work account both feed into there. Apple Mail automatically deletes stuff from the trash that is older than a month. That’s good enough for me; I never delete anything from there. So the more in my trash folder, the happier I am. (That means I have been ruthless with my other folders.)

I am afraid that if I file any incoming email in a folder other than the inbox, I will forget about it.

Maybe once a week or so, I try to spend an hour or so going through my inbox and outbox to delete stuff that I know I will no longer need. And I always delete stuff right away that I’m sure I am finished with. It’s always gratifying to see that trash box grow.

Yes, I use gmail’s feature of having a large amount of storage. I am always at about 25% of the capacity that I can use. I only delete stuff from there that has large attachments.

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4 Replies to “Inbox zero? Naah.”

  1. Ugh. This post made me contend with the fact that I have 5,198 messages in my Inbox. And 4,360 in Sent. My mail is an extension of my brain, even though I try to use folders. It’s sick, I know. And then there’s my desk top…

  2. E-mail, a blessing and a curse! Zero is not really zero in the Zero Inbox movement because the concept is to move things to other folders like Action, Filed, Handle Later. It seems to build off the Getting Things Done model.

    My Inboxes: 874 w/199 unread or not completed
    My primary work inbox: 194 w/97 unread — any time I can keep this box below 200, I’m pretty happy! I’m not nearly as concerned about the 680 e-mails in the other Inboxes.

    My Sent: 2924
    My Trash: 1389

  3. Lots of useful stuff here. I love the take-aways; very thought-provoking. BTW — we don’t have those airline commercials here, but I’m not sure what they’re trying to say with a lynx. Hmm… “We’re your lynx to wherever you’re going”?! 

    Messaging could have a lot to do with where you’re coming from, not just what the other person is going with their communique. Some of us need more explicit detail than others on any given topic.

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