Taking your inbox to ZERO!


While attending reBARCampTO this past April, Jimmy Mackin helped me realize that I was an email hoarder.  Now, a month later, I am happy to report that the information I learned from Jimmy has been put to good use…and my inbox is at ZERO!

It wasn’t a simple task getting rid of all those emails, (when I say all I mean 1,163 unread message and thousands of saved and never deleted messages), but I forced myself to sit in front of my computer until it was finished.  Now all I feel is relief.

First I set up a Gmail account.  Through gmail you are able to allow current email addresses, including POP3’s, to download into Gmail.  I can even reply from my regular accounts and not use my @gmail.com address.  By doing this, my emails from all three of my email accounts arrive in one inbox.

Next I set up labels, because I like to keep all client communication until a deal is closed.  Labels for all my active clients, my real estate board correspondence, my YPN correspondence, travel information, you name it.  Then I began the sort.  I deleted items that were junk.  I filed emails that were important in the appropriate files.  I archived emails that may not be important now, but that were from previous transactions that I would like to access one day, should I ever need to.

MY INBOX REACHED ZERO!!!!!!!!!  Celebrate good times!

Then, I started to panic.  How do I stop this from happening again…

I remembered Jimmy talking about an iPhone app called Mailbox.  So I downloaded it and connected my Gmail account.  Mailbox allows me the opportunity to quickly assess my email and do one of the following:

1.  Archive the email

2.  Move the email to trash

3.  Snooze the email (allowing me to set a time for the email to return to my inbox as a reminder)

4.  Add the email to a list (create lists like “follow up”/”to do”/”to read” etc)

Mailbox allows you to sort your email as noted above with simple swipes of your screen.  It’s a great way to quickly move emails out of your inbox, set reminders or file them for follow up.

The Gmail app is also a great app.  Works just like gmail.com and allows you to archive, delete or file into labels quickly and easily.  Or allows you to quickly pull an email for review.  Gmail.com gives me access my email from any computer any time, unlike mail programs like outlook.

The biggest problem I was having is I would check emails on my phone or iPad and never look at my inbox.  Then when I needed to find an old email I would have a difficult time locating it in my inbox.  One thing Jimmy noted is that you need to do something with EVERY email that comes in, just don’t leave it there.  Archive it, delete it, respond to it, forward it, whatever it may be don’t leave it there to collect.  Now, with Gmail and Mailbox, everything is sorted according to it’s contents or actions required and all my emails, archived or active, are available at my finger tips.  No more spending hours sorting my mess of email.  And no more 1100 unread messages in my inbox!

There is so much more to learn about Gmail and its features, but right now I’m happy with my ZERO inbox, and I will get to the other stuff later!\.

Hopefully this will help you take your inbox to zero with the use of two simple and free apps.


Written by Amie Ferris, YPN member and guest blogger

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