Inbox Zero: Why It’s Important to Me

Inbox Zero is often a topic of discussion amongst those online, and with good reason. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and Hope’s Inbox Zero post generated debate in our office. Because we thought our readers would enjoy a glimpse into our discussion, Zac and I have decided to take our opinions to a more open forum. You can read Zac’s post here.

empty box

Really, what is Inbox Zero anyway?

You might see it as another marketing term used to generate hype online. You might see it as a mysterious and complicated process to which only the most organized subscribe. You may even see it as some sort of nirvana, a state of technological communications bliss that is the ultimate end goal. As for me, I don’t treat Inbox Zero as an end goal. It’s more of the way I manage email. To me, Inbox Zero is a frame of mind that I pseudo-pair with a GTD approach to managing workflow and tasks (GTD = Getting Things Done).

Breaking Down the Need for Inbox Zero

Due to my occupational field, my role here at Lieberman Technologies, and my personal addiction to the Internet I receive hundreds of emails per day. I employ a number of efforts to managing the email volume. We have spam and virus filtering on our domain, I have a number of Outlook rules, and I treat my inbox like a task list. I work to keep my email neatly tucked in folders, organized to my liking. When an email comes in, I evaluate it and decide on the following basics:

  • Delete
  • Immediate Reply
  • Mark as task item for later response
  • Move to Folder

Yep, my first thought process is to delete. I have found over time that keeping my inbox crowded with stuff that I save for later but will never read is a stressor I just don’t need. I guess I think of it this way: like a clean desk, a clean inbox can keep you calm. If you know me personally, you wouldn’t classify me as a neat freak. Still, I do appreciate organization.

Inbox Zero: Can I Do It?

I will be honest here, as much as I do believe in “Inbox Zero,” I don’t remember the last time my inbox was at 0. But as I said, literal zero isn’t my purpose in striving for Inbox Zero. I like to be efficient and focused and a clean inbox helps me get there.

Let’s face it. If my inbox was completely empty, that would mean that I didn’t have anything to do. That’s just not good for business.

How many emails are in your inbox? Leave a comment and share with the group.