Forget Inbox ZERO. ARCHIVE old EMAILS instead.

Every now and then someone talks about having a Inbox Zero. Fxxx them. It is like asking a pidgin not to crap on public statues. My email inbox is that statue, a catch all for the important emails/projects I’m working on. This is what we complaint about the inbox growing bigger and bigger by the day. I live with all that email. Inbox Zero? Are you kidding me?

The truth is that you cannot live with all the shit you produce. When remorse starts grinding its way (usually during early January) I try to clean some old emails. Every new year I “archive” old emails. My strategy to keep inbox at sane levels is to get all emails older than 12 months ARCHIVED. In Google’s gmail I search for those little bastards with:

before:2015-01-01, label:inbox

And then ‘select all’, ‘archive’, … and presto, a light (cof cof cof) inbox — who wants inbox zero anyway? And I’m ready for a Nespresso. What else?

Where does Non Inbox Zero fails?

Now, I concede that if your send/receive more than 100 emails a day, this might fail. I recommend that you do it monthly instead. But my honest opinion is that your are sending/receiving to much email in the first place. Don’t think that you are being productive by sending so many emails. You are just being very shallow in your work and that, my friend, is a snake that will one day bite you.

The other situation is if your are the secretary of state of some rich country and are sending emails all the time. In that case you MUST delete everything every time you send an email, and even then your inbox is NOT A SNAKE. Et is more like the secret service of a tyrannosaurus rex chasing you down the road at full speed.