Tuesday June 30, 2009

Target Inbox Zero

Email With Advanced Common Sense.

by SoftwareGuru
19th June 2009

If browsing your email has become more like going on safari or trekking through a dense jungle, it's time to do something about it.

Regardless of which email software you use, it is how you use that program that determines your productivity.

Wouldn't it be nice to have more free time AND get more done?

Some users who own a mobile device discover that they are spending even more time checking email depending on their social networking habits, direct messages (DMs) and instant messages (IMs).

So today I'd like to share a brilliant concept devised by Merlin Mann called Inbox Zero.

If you watch the YouTube video embedded above to the right, you will get the full, in-depth explanation of how exactly you can change your email habits forever.

Of all the skills, tricks and tips that we offer you here in the Software4Students article section, this is the one that has the potential to make the biggest difference.

Take just a couple of minutes to learn about Inbox Zero and discover a world not governed by email.

Let's begin!


achieve inbox zero

Converting email into actions

As Merlin Mann clearly states himself, many of his ideas and principles for Inbox Zero are devised using advanced common sense.

Essentially, they're obvious ideas. However, it is only by combining all of these obvious ideas together in an honest way that we can reassess our own work schedules, habits and practises.

Our thoughts do not always match our actions and this is at the core of why most people struggle to control their email.

At the outset there is a clear philosophy which includes the following points:

- Some messages are more equal than others
- Your time is priceless (and wildly limited)
- Less can be so much more
- Lose the guilt
- Lying to yourself doesn't empty the inbox

All of these points are explained on his site with great examples.

Keeping emails brief, using templates for often repeated information, and being honest about our email habits are small but vital steps on the road to recovery.

Your inbox should be a place for new email you've not read yet - not an email graveyard.

One Day At A Time

From experience I can say that achieving inbox zero is not as difficult as maintaining it.

I imagine it is a bit like trying to give up smoking. It's a long term goal.

You can succeed for a day, maybe even a week but eventually if you're not careful you can fall back into old habits.

Therefore, you may find it advantageous to print out bullet points and pin them up near your PC as a visual reminder.

The differences between checking and processing email soon become apparent leaving you with the most important question, "What actions do I have to take as a result of this email?"

Checking to see if you have a new email is not the point. It's about acting on the emails you already have.

Let us know how you get on with Inbox Zero either via our Twitter or Facebook page.

Share your own experience and tips with others.

lifelong commitment