How I Reached Inbox Zero(ish)

Something must be in the air. Like Dave, I’ve been making a concerted effort to clean out my email inbox over the past couple weeks.

All year, I’ve been fluctuating between 80 – 140 messages, not including the hundreds sitting in my ‘Respond to’ folder.

For the past week, I’ve been steadily at Inbox Zero.

With 17 2 in my ‘Respond to’ folder and the oldest message is from June ’09 not Feb ’09.

Here’s how I’ve tamed my inbox in 3 steps:

  1. Read each email message and determine a what the next action is.
    This is the hardest step.
  2. Write down the next action.
    I have a ThingsToDo.txt file I use w/ Quicksilver’s Append Text to File action.
  3. Ruthlessly file into a project folder or delete.

All of this is leading up to a couple ideas I want to implement for ongoing communications management – but it will only work once this backlog is cleaned out.