For years now, I have been dreaming of and struggling to get to inbox zero. It was a utopia of day to day task management and client responsiveness I strived for. Yet it eluded me for years… and years.
What is Inbox Zero?
The high efficiency practice of reaching and keeping your inbox at zero stored messages. Dealing with each message as it arrives and cleaning it out, archiving it or otherwise moving it to another platform so that your inbox does not remain your chaotic project management tool and communications archive.
Just About Impossible
Not only was it just about impossible to reach, but it proved impossible to maintain. I deleted all my social media notifications, newsletters and archived old client messages but as fast as I could clear it, new messages would arrive.
Like a boat with a hole in it,
you can bail all you want but in the end you are going down!
Over the years I actually attained inbox zero a few times and each time it lasted about 2 hours.
Enter Mailstrom by 410 Labs
Mailstrom is a service that helps you achieve inbox zero by scanning and categorizing your email. Once the initial scan is complete, incoming mail is also added to this category structure. Categories include groups like social media, unsubscribe and shopping that allow you to quickly review and delete social media notifications, ecommerce messages and marketing e-newsletters. Its been over a years since I started using Mailstrom but I believe the very first time I used it I removed thousands of emails.
To make the suite of tools even more powerful you can create rules to always take the same action on emails from certain people or organizations.
Am I at Inbox Zero?
No. But I am hell of a lot closer. I typically start my day by logging into Mailstrom and immediately clearing out all social media notifications, newsletters I never remembering subscribing to and moving all yesterday’s email to appropriate archive folders. This allows me to open my email client to a relatively (and manageable) inbox.
Is it Worth $50 a Year?
Obviously everyone will have to judge for themselves. I know folks who seem to believe within their soul that everything online should be free. Personally I am much more the capitalist and believe that $50 a year to utilize a powerful tool that others spent a lot of time and resources to build totally worth it. To justify it another way, if it saves me a few minutes a day and lowers my stress levels… we have a deal.
Note: The links in this article are referral links… You save a few bucks should you sign up and I make a few bucks. Your savings will not make a huge difference and I wont retire early but hey, if a deal is to be had – take it.