Update: Following on the heels of Gmail’s update, I thought I would re-share this article as well that I posted nearly 4 years ago. To this day, I still follow these recommendations and email is no longer a thorn in my digital side. Give it a try!
Email truly revolutionized communication. The ability to retrieve a message from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds is mind boggling. However, judging by the size of your inboxes (a poll I posted recently showed that 60% of email users had more than 100 messages in their inbox), you could benefit from some tips on how to keep your inbox clean.
I used to keep as many as many as 50 or so email stacked up in my inbox, but I always felt that I was behind in my work and consequently much of the email went unread and unanswered. A little more than a year ago, it all changed after I read an article that struck a chord with me called Email Zen. I immediately started practicing the techniques and suggestions in the article and found myself with a cleaner inbox and a better overall outlook (no pun intended) about email and my email communication. I continue to strive for the empty inbox and find that if i get more than 10, I start to get a little jumpy.
From reading that article and my own experience over the past 5 years, here are my suggestions for reaching harmony with email:
Another good article for learning how to handle email in an efficient manner is Inbox Zero over at 43folders.com If you have some other techniques that you find work well for keeping email under control, leave a comment and share it! If you are one of the 60% plus who have 50 or more email in their inbox, give these techniques a try and let me know what you think.
Photo by PatrickO’Shaughnessey