This is the fourth article of a series. Start here then learn how to clear your desktops for focused work here. Then read about your download folder and trash here.

How you handle your inbox tells me so much about your mindset.

It’s essential that we take the way we treat our inboxes seriously.

I believe this so whole-heartedly that I wrote you a whole guide for how to create and maintain inbox zero.

I get a lot of push back from folks on this, though.

Here are three main issues I see when it comes to inboxes:

1. just in case
There’s this fear that is discussed a lot in the minimalism world. It’s the thought that we may need something, “just in case.”

When we believe we may need something “just in case,” we are fearful and don’t let it go. We let the inboxes build up. Which, ironically, doesn’t do us any favors when it comes to finding the items we may need.

2. incomplete processing
Instead of sitting down at a specific time to completely process the inbox, I see most people diving into their inbox through push notifications or on their phone review. This not only wastes time because you’re “touching” emails multiple times, but you’re also having to think about emails you can’t fully close while they’re still waiting for you to complete whatever action you need to archive the email.

Save yourself this hassle by setting aside times when you’re on your computer to completely process your inbox, only touching emails once.

3. misuse
Inboxes are for external emails that cannot otherwise be avoided. They are for messages that are to be processed upon receipt. This means, they are not for:
  • Notes to yourself
  • To-do list items
  • Details for appointments/events

I like using the Spark app for all of my email accounts; there, they are all in one place or in the case of small teams, the Missive App. Both are easy to use, attractive on my eyeballs, and have awesome shortcuts.

Next time you realize your inbox is a mess, ask yourself why. Be honest. Decide to purposefully cultivate an inbox zero. You’ll be glad you did.

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Easeful Inbox Zero PDF

Ready to clear out that inbox? Check out the Easeful Inbox Zero PDF and hit easeful inbox zero in your life.

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