Inbox Zero

I got a new email address in 2011 and decided to make a change. In my old inbox I had every single mail in the inbox. More than 5000 of them. It was somehow a headache, even though I can't really place my finger on why.

Now I use my inbox as a to do list of sorts. Emails are only there as long as they're relevant. Confirmation of a table reservation at a restaurant? It's at most relevant until the date of the booking has past. Archive it.

A bill to pay? Keep it in the inbox until it's paid. Archive it.

An ongoing conversation with someone? Archive it if you're waiting for a reply; it'll pop back in the inbox when that happens.

Got a mail from someone who suggested that you put a <content> tag in your atom feed, and you actually intend to do that? Keep it in the inbox until you have, almost two months later. Archive it.

There are currently four emails in my inbox, the oldest of which is almost a year old. I'll get to that any quarter now. I just archived four email conversations started in the last two weeks, because they're no longer relevant (requests to professionals for their services, now decided).

I don't know if this is the original Inbox Zero method, but it's my version and it works really well for me. By the way I treat web browser tabs the same way: close them when they're no longer relevant.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal