MarkBrooks.TV Vlog Episode 7 :: I'm happiest when I'm at inbox zero. I was happy this week. Here's some hacks to help you nail inbox zero in gmail.
We're in total information overload these days. Every day we get a deluge of important email to pull our attention. Couple that with all the email subscriptions with killer content pulling at our attention even further...and it's all just too much. I prefer to drink my morning coffee while being at or close to inbox zero.
I've experimented with many email systems, and tools, and hacks to come up with a few ground rules which really, really help me get to and stay at inbox zero. I'd like to share them with you. I hope they help.
Firstly, its frustrating to attempt to go through email when there's not enough time. So, why bother. Its better to know you have a clear half hour, and then attack email with full attention. The golden rule is OHIO. Only Handle It Once. The only way you can OHIO is if you have the time to pay each email proper attention to be able to make the decision to either bin it, answer it, or if you really don't have time to answer it, boomerang it. I'll explain what I mean by 'boomerang' in a moment. ...and how about all the people you emailed that didn't respond? Its annoying to let stuff fall through the cracks.
Second tip... Use Boomerang App for gmail. (there's also an option for Outlook). This solves the two problems I just mentioned. If you don't have time to answer a particular email you can use Boomerang to send an email off and come back to you in hours, or days, or months. Its up to you. The other way I use Boomerang is, what I think is the real killer-app, I use it to have bulletproof follow-up. I'll set up most of the emails that I send out to come back into my email box, or rather, be boomeranged back into my inbox, if that person doesn't respond to that email within a set period of time. Great! I wish there were more options for tools that could do this, but it seems Boomerang is the best option within Gmail. Please comment if you know of any more.
Third tip. If you set up your inbox the way I showed in this video, you'll have your 'Important and Unread' email to focus on first. Then, once you've cleared through that, click on the 'Unread' email drop-down to see your less important and unread email. Then click on the numbers of emails i.e. 1-100 emails, on the right hand side. You'll then click the tick box up top to tick all the emails. Then unclick the ones you want to actually read, and mass delete the rest.
Hopefully this makes some sense. Please let me know your tips for getting to inbox zero. Perhaps we can raise our collective game by sharing in the comments here. Thanks. ;-)