screw inbox zero

…unless it’s delivered right to your email doorstep.

Are you bogged down in your email program most of the day, everyday… spending WTF too much time checking, sorting, sifting, tagging, pruning, filtering, organizing, scanning, reading and re-reading mostly needless, irrelevant, irreverent, cumbersome, wordy, scattered, terse and “urgent” notes?


Sorry about that. But ain’t it true?

So then… I’ve got a hack for you, that is, if you got the email-balls.

View only unread emails.

Why? To focus on important (versus “urgent”) work.

Deep thinking is practiced way too little in these days of ultra-distractions… like excess email.

I’m not going to bore you with much more… we’ve all read the many productivity hacks about managing email. I only want to share this simple method I read somewhere on the inter-web, tried it myself and… ♥ it!

Here’s how.

I use Mac Mail as my mail program. I’m sure the following applies to any other web or email client.

I created a smart folder, called My Inbox, with two simple rules.

Show messages:

  • Still in my inbox and…
  • Marked as unread


  • I hide all other folders
  • I check email multiple times a day, for a few minutes, then shut down the program


I only see unread emails… with no other clutter (no folder hierarchy).

01 at first

After reading an email, it will not appear when I re-open my mail program next time.

03 after

This encourages me to address emails promptly by either, responding immediately -or- create an item in my central task list. No more using emails as another to-do list.

Maybe give it a try for yourself? You might feel awesomely light, doing more important work.


I do.


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