There are just 3 steps to achieving Inbox Zero, but why would you do such a thing?
In the words of the chap who coined the concept, Merlin Mann, "That 'zero'? It's not how many messages are in your inbox - it's how much of your own brain is in that inbox. Especially when you don't want it to be. That's it.".
Ultimately, it clears your mind to focus on bigger things, by stopping you worrying about anything vital that might have sunk into the depths.
Enable 'Auto Archive tasks' (recommended)
The best way to use ActiveInbox is to automatically clear your emails out of your inbox when you give them a Due Date or add them to a list.
(Don't worry, ActiveInbox is tracking them in the task lists above your inbox, and they're still in Gmail's All Mail folder... nothing is ever deleted by ActiveInbox).
To turn this on:
- Open ActiveInbox's Preferences (click our red icon in the top right of Gmail, then Preferences)
- Check to enable 'Auto Archive emails when added to a Due-Date/List/Folder'
Or manually, for every email, make a decision:
Can I discard it?
If it's not important, just Finish it, by clicking the tick icon at the top of the email.
Can you reply in under 2 mins?
Just do it! Then discard it by clicking Finish.
Otherwise, turn it into a task for later
Give it a Due Date reminder
You could also add it to a project Folder
Click Archive in Gmail to remove it from your inbox (don't worry, archived emails are still in Gmail's All Mail folder).
Your Today list is all that matters
Your Today list, unmissable above your inbox, keeps you on top of everything. It can also be sorted into more manageable chunks.