I had been stuck using my work’s web-based email interface for the last 6-months, so when they finally changed servers and I was able to move back to Outlook I was thrilled! It’s just much more organized and I am used to all the handy features as opposed to web-based sites. In fact, the one I was using wouldn’t even let me search in Firefox – so I had to reopen the site in IE every time I needed to search for an old email – ugh.

Anyway, since I was getting this fresh start in Outlook, I decided that I wanted to try something new, something I had only heard of in fairy tales – keep my Inbox empty!

Outlook LogoSo I have been at it a month and I am proud to say that I only have 34 items in my Inbox at the moment! Not bad for a guy that gets 50-100 a day (another 25 in my Gmail daily) and who has a history of nearly crashing mail servers with the backlog of emails he has amassed. Put it this way – I have over 9,000 emails in my Gmail!

So how am I doing it? Simply put I try to attend to every email as it comes in and then diligently delete the email immediately after taking care of whatever it was about, and then several times a day do a sweep through the Inbox and delete out what is not needed and flag anything that I still need to complete before deleting.

I had used flags before as a way to sort through the 1,000s of emails in my Inbox to see what important things I had missed. It was pretty useful – but now with so few emails in my Inbox it becomes almost a daily task list and keeps me focused on getting the items all done so I can have the pleasure of deleting them!

I will admit that I did have to create a couple folders off to the side that I could stash away things I thought I had better keep long term – and so far I haven’t deleted any of my Sent mails or emptied my Deleted Items folder either! I guess I am still a little nervous about losing something I may have needed – but hey that was not the goal to keep those empty – the goal was to “keep my Inbox empty” and so far so good! In fact since I started typing this post I deleted another email – 33 more to go!

2 Responses to “Operation Empty Inbox – it really can happen!”
  1. Erin says:

    Pretty good! I get way less a day, and mine gets way overloaded. I do often go back and search through them though. I have a lot of folders I put them in to, but I still can’t seem to get my inbox full. I should try this though – maybe it would keep me on top of my daily tasks more, instead of putting things off and then spending 15 minutes finding that email about something I was supposed to do. OOps!

  2. The beauty of an empty inbox | Momma Times says:

    […] on its own) about a new approach he was going to take at keeping his e-mail inbox empty at work. (Steve’s post here) Interesting, I […]

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