Reaching Inbox Zero

This afternoon, after catching Merlin Mann’s presentation on the Worst Website Ever for the second time, I wandered over to 43 Folders. I think I’d been to the site a few times before, for whatever reason, but I don’t recall ever spending a lot of time there. Anyway, one of the articles which caught my eye was the post on Inbox Zero.

I’m a geek for organization. I completely buy into the idea that, if only I could be more organized, I would be happier and less stressed out. I’d heard the term “inbox zero” before, a concept which is pretty much self-explanatory, but I had no idea how a person accomplished such a thing. The last time my work inbox was empty was the day I turned it on for the first time.

Then, I watched the video of the Inbox Zero presentation that Mann gave at Google in 2007. And a light came on.  Most of the advice that Mann gives could neatly be defined as “advanced common sense” (a term Mann uses more than once during the presentation), but it was all stuff that I just never did.

I used the remainder of my workday and the better part of my bus ride home implementing elements of the strategy outlined by Mann. And let me tell you what: I feel one hundred times better than I did this morning. I still have just about as much to do as I did this morning, but I have a clearer picture of what needs to be done.

If you have any problems at all with an unwieldy inbox, I can’t suggest this video strongly enough.