Inbox Zero is an email management concept aimed at keeping emailing as efficient as possible. This is a short tutorial about it, however, there are a number of resources online if you’d like a more in depth description (please refer to this video)
Inbox Zero aims to keep your inbox empty, resulting in ‘Inbox Zero’. Inbox Zero revolves around 5 actions, for each email you receive you must do one of the following actions. The actions are ordered based on how often you should be doing them, but different people have different requirements.
1. Delete (archiving also falls under this)
2. Delegate (get someone else to act upon it)
4. Defer (do it later)
5. Do (if the email requires you to do something, do it)
You’ll probably be quite surprised by how knowing much of your email you can actually delete. Emails that you don’t need (now or in the future), such as advertising or notifications, should be deleted. Emails that you’ve read and don’t need to do anything about but may be need in the future, such as password/username emails or bank statements, should be archived. You should not leave these emails in your inbox. Rather than just archiving you may find it better to use folders, however, be sure not to spend more than a few seconds in deciding which folder to pick.
If you received an email that you can’t do anything about but someone else (such as a coworker, your boss or secretary) can, you should forward the email to them, if desired include a quick statement explaining that they’d be better suited to deal with it. You should then delete or archive the email.
If the email is directed at you and you aren’t delete/archiving it, you should respond to the sender. If the email’s task will take a matter of minutes do it and reply, otherwise reply to the sender thanking them and informing them that you will do it soon.
If you do not have the time to finish the email and the task involved with it, make a reminder to do it later. Fortunately, Airmail makes it very easy to do this. Right clicking an email will show a menu with various options. Choose one from the 'Send to' menu.
If you have the time or you’re completing a reminder, doing the email’s task is the most important step. If you don’t do the email’s task there’s not much point in receiving emails in the first place.