Email management is now considered a skill in the corporate world. Apart from general organizational skills, managing your emails is key to increasing your productivity. Inbox zero is one elite way of spending the least time in our email inbox management. This article details out how to get your inbox to zero with some simple tips to help manage your emails.

How to get your inbox to zero 

how to get your inbox to zero

With so many tasks to deal with, it can be difficult to set importance to different tasks. Assessing yourself and your inbox can play an important role in helping you set proper priorities. The below questions can be used to allocate priority to each email you open, thus helping you respond to them correctly to know how to get your inbox down to zero.

  • What does this message mean to me, and why do I care?
  • What action, if any, does this message require of me?
  • What’s the most elegant way to close out this message and the nested action it contains?

1. Assign importance to the emails to know how to get your inbox to zero

Now that we know what you need to do to understand your priorities, let us see how you can use them for efficient email management. First and foremost, knowing how an email affects you or concerns you is the primary step towards responding to it. If an email is intended for you, it is good to assess how the email will affect you. Managing your email requires you to understand how important each email is or isn’t. Thus important emails can be further processed while emails that do not matter can be deleted.

2. Decide your next course of action

Once you know that an email is important, it all boils down to what you choose as your next response. Your response to an email intended for you should be one of these for better time management:

  • If you can reply to the email in under a minute, do it right away. DO not postpone it.
  • If an email requires another quick task before replying, do it after you are done with the current task at hand.
  • If an email needs longer time to be replied to, schedule it as a task in your task manager.

This enables you to manage your emails better while also allowing you to be more time efficient as you know how to get your inbox to zero.

3. Allot the appropriate time

Now that you know what your inbox zero action is going to be, it is time to know how exactly to do it. Depending on the importance of an email, you must sort out the amount of time you are willing to spend on it. If it is an email with an urgent deadline, it will have to be dealt with and in the most time efficient manner. A less important email might be tended to at one’s leisure thus we know how to get your inbox to zero.

Actionable tips on how to get your inbox to zero

Now tat we know what you need to consider to form your own email management strategy, let us see HOW you can put it into practice.

1. Schedule email processing

When it comes to efficient email management, scheduling is important for a few key factors. Keeping a check on the number of times you check your email inbox is crucial for better time management. Email management softwares like Mailman can help you schedule when and when you do not want to be disturbed by your emails. This type of scheduling helps in email management as well as in deep work.

2. Organize your email inbox

Organizing your emails is an important email management tip to know how to get your inbox to zero. Using built-in features of email softwares like Gmail can go a long way in efficient email management. Features like Folders, Labels, Filters and Star can help you manage your email with the inbox zero method. Setting appropriate filters that point to proper folders can really help organize your emails as you need.

3. Do it yourself

Using only a few of these certain tricks can be instrumental in efficient email management:   

(a) If a message requires no action on your behalf, archive it immediately.
(b) If a message requires a simple reply that you do in a minute or less, do it right away—and then archive it immediately.
(c) If a message requires some level of thought or response that you can’t get to right away, snooze it to a time and date when you will be able to handle it. Thus the email could reappear exactly when you know you will have the time and energy to respond appropriately.

4. Write only once using email templates

These emails include emails of introduction, emails of invitation or of a follow up. Such emails might be similar but end up taking loads of our time. This is where email templates come in. Email templates make email writing a much easier and faster job. Taking out a few minutes to design templates for oneself can prove to be a great tip for time efficiency.

5. Use email management softwares

Efficient email management is only possible if certain tips and email softwares are used. Managing your email with the inbox zero method becomes possible with email management apps. Apps like Mailman can help you schedule your emails such that they do not cause a distraction to you. These softwares can go a long way in helping you know how to get your inbox to zero.

Choose your strategy on how to get your inbox to zero

The above strategies and email management softwares like Mailman make it very easy to know how to get your inbox to zero. Using these tips consistently allows us to spend less time in managing email inbox and more time in productive tasks. Also, achieving inbox zero is the way to obsess less about emails and spending time living our lives.

FAQs

How do I get Gmail inbox to zero?

1. Set email processing schedules.
2. Organize your emails using filters and folders.
3. Use the 2 minute rule while answering each email.
4. Use email templates.
5. Use email management softwares like Mailman to achieve inbox zero.

What is the Inbox Zero method?

Inbox zero method involves organizing, sorting and managing your email inbox such that there are almost zero emails left to respond.

How do I keep my inbox empty?

1. Unsubscribe from newsletters and spam.
2. Delete the spam folder and other spam related messages.
3. Delete or archive emails once you are through with them.
4. Do not add CC in your emails unnecessarily.

How do I get to my inbox?

1. Navigate to gmail.com using any Web browser or open the Gmail app on your phone.
2. Enter your Google username and password in the the Username and Password fields and click “Sign In” to log in to your Google account. The default view is the Inbox folder.

How do I separate my Gmail inbox?

1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
2. At the top right, click Settings.
3. Next to “Inbox type,” select Multiple inboxes.
4. Under “Section name,” enter a name for the section.
5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.