You might be surprised to hear me say this, but it actually doesn’t matter how many emails are in your inbox.
Inbox zero (not sure what this is? See the P.S. below) was coined a few years ago, but it seems that there’s been a resurgence because people have been asking me about it a lot more lately.
Do you think inbox zero is the holy grail of effective email management?
Ask yourself these questions to find out if you need to work toward inbox zero (or a different kind of email system):
- Are you overwhelmed by your email inbox?
- Do emails fall through the cracks?
- Can you find emails when you need them?
- Can you find those emails quickly?
If you answered “no” to the first two questions and “yes” to the second two questions, Congratulations! You may have many emails in your inbox, but you don’t need to strive for inbox zero (especially if you have tens of thousands of emails in your inbox). Though, you may benefit from other strategies so you can spend less time on email.
If you answered, “yes” to either of the first two questions or “no” to either of the second two questions, then you definitely need a better system for managing emails. Inbox zero might be an option for you, but if it sounds to militant, let me know and I’d be happy to help you create a customized system for managing emails.