How to keep your email inbox empty

By Charlotte Björsjö

How to keep your email inbox empty

Now and then it’s nice to have an empty inbox. Not every day, but at least once a week. During a week you probably get a lot of emails – important messages mixed with subscriptions, which makes it difficult to keep track of all tasks that needs to be prioritised. The more unmanaged emails we have in the inbox, the worse our performance becomes. 

Zooma email management

5 tips on how to quickly get to an empty email basket:

  1. Emails you do not need?
    Throw them away!
  2. Emails you do not need to act on, but need to save?
    Save them in a folder structure in your mail or in a folder on your computer with other documents within the same subject.
  3. Emails that you can answer quickly?
    Reply and directly after, throw them away or save them somewhere else other than in your inbox.
  4. Messages that require you to do something?
    Create to-do tasks and add them to your to-do list. Save your emails in a folder or throw them away.
  5. Emails that need to be acted upon, but you do not have time to do something about it right now!
    Read them if you must, change the emails to unread and deal with them later according to the rules above.

If you follow these simple email management tips, you will get an empty inbox at least once a week.

I was really good at this at one point, but have recently become lazy. It can easily happen when you have a lot to do and new emails keep arriving in the mail bin. But it’s quite easy to get started again with the list above. And if you think about it, it’s even more important to be structured when we have a lot to do.

What folders do I have in my Outlook?

  • Added in Trello – My to-do-list-system, where I add to-dos to myself or others
  • Answered – Messages that I have already replied to
  • Follow up – When an email needs to be checked again before it ends up in Answered or Archive
  • Archive – Emails handled and needs no further action

How do you manage your mail basket? Please come with tips that can improve for all of us.

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Charlotte Björsjö
Charlotte has been a project manager since 2014. She gets excited about Kanban and loves Trello.
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