The Email Hack That Changed How I Work

Monday, July 23, 2018


A cluttered inbox has always been a pet peeve of mine. I hate seeing that little red notification cloud staring at me (although, I just found out that you can turn that off). It's not just unread messages that give me anxiety, simply having a crammed inbox gives me shudders.

Over the years, I've managed to work out a system that makes my clean inbox dreams come true and also helps improve my productivity. I use my inbox as my to-do list. It's really simple:

  • As soon as an email has been responded to, it gets whisked away to a folder with the corresponding client or project name. 
  • An email can only stay in my inbox if it needs to be addressed. 
  • Junk mail is deleted as soon as it comes in.
This system helps keep my inbox down to a minimum. I can quickly scan over the emails in there to see what needs to be done on any given day. Plus, moving an email out of my inbox has the same kind of satisfaction as checking an item off a to-do list. I feel especially accomplished if I'm able to get my inbox down to less than five emails before the weekend.

How about you? Do you use your inbox as a productivity tool or is it a scary abyss that you try to avoid?

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