Fuck Inbox Zero


It’s time to rethink email. “Inbox Zero” is not working.

Archiving/tagging/deleting that last email gives you a warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment, but it won’t last long, and you know it. In an hour, you’ll have new messages to process. It becomes a game, then a chore, then a daily stress point. It’s a Sisyphus’ boulder, a war you cannot win. It’s like trying to stop the rain by drinking it.

Stop thinking about your email inbox as a tray that can be emptied, and instead see it as a continuous flow, a river that ebbs and flows but always is present. And we need better tools that helps us find the important gold nuggets of information in that river. What are the action points I need to take? The questions that people need me to answer?

Google Inbox or a well-configured Gmail takes us a bit on that way, but they don’t solve the problem completely.

Update: Jacob Landefjord recommends Unibox (Mac OS X) for a more “flow” based approach to email. I need to try this!