Inbox Zero


I achieve the so-called “Inbox Zero” about 10,000 times every single day. It is one of the few places that I keep absolutely pristine and it’s how I manage much of my life (seriously, no hyperbole here).

It’s how I order my day, how I schedule meetings, how I create “action plans,” how I create reminders and to-dos as well as a repository for interesting quips, blog post ideas (if I’m not dropping them immediately into Desk PM), and random links to articles that I find interesting.

It is, quite literally, my “one-stop shop” for everything digital.

Is the system that I’ve created perfect? No. Not even close (although it is highly functional and I did make it “my friend“). But it works and the dopamine kick that I get more than a handful of times a day doesn’t appear to be losing any potency; in other words, I’m not sure that I’ll ever build a complete tolerance to it.

By the way, I’m using Sparrow Mail App right now despite the fact that it was acquired by Google a few years back and seems to be somewhat ignored as a product. Does this mean that the app is internally “sunset” and is going to eventually hit the deadpool?

Probably. If that happens then I’ll move Airmail App most likely which shares a lot in common.


It’s also worth noting that I like how Sparrow tells you “Inbox Zero” while the browser email experience via Gmail just says “No New Mail!” as if one is supposed to be anxiously and impatiently awaiting the next one… Not.

But it’s important to know that I do not achieve “Inbox Zero” as a purposeful GTD-esque type of thing where this is some crazy strategy to increase productivity and somehow win back hours lost to email decay.

Instead, I achieve Inbox Zero as a natural outcause of my decision to simply empty that shit as quickly as I possibly can. There isn’t really a strategy around it nor is there some foundational productivity ethic that I’m trying to expose, promote, practice, or live by. I just simply detest seeing an un-executed email sitting there all lonely and sad (and it is, indeed, a sad, sad email…).

Inbox Zero is much more fun when you relieve yourself of the pressure to achieve some sort of productivity zen and instead see it as a game to be played. It’s probably best kept there philosophically as well so you don’t beat yourself up if you sometimes “lose”.

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