Inbox Zero
     A practical philosophy for managing email overload




                       Hadley Wickham
Thursday, 7 M...
1. Why? My email
                2. Inbox zero
                3. Minimal responses
                4. Filters for gray ma...
How many of you
                       feel overwhelmed by
                            your email?


Thursday, 7 May 2009
2000




         1500
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         1000                            unread
                                        ...
2000




         1500
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         1000                        unread
                                     read


...
1.0



            0.8



            0.6
 read/all




            0.4



            0.2



            0.0

           ...
350


         300


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 value




         200                         direct
                                 ...
350


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         200                         direct
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Inbox Zero
                       http://www.43folders.com/izero

                                   Merlin Mann

        ...
Your time is priceless
                        (and wildly limited)

                You need an agnostic system for
     ...
Key concepts
                       Regularly empty your inbox
                       Minimal response
                   ...
Response does not need to be
                           proportional to request

                               “Do you st...
Delete!
                       Most minimal response is none.
                       “Just remember that every email you
 ...
Filters grey mail
                       “noisy, frequent, and non-urgent items
                       which can be dealt ...
13
                                                     00
        bannerpcard@rice.edu, carlyn@rice.edu, (5/d /35
       ...
Patricia Wallace, a techno-psychologist,
       believes part of the allure of e-mail—
       for adults as well as teens—...
Email dashes
                       Don’t have your email open all day.
                       Schedule times when you res...
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08 Managing Email

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08 Managing Email

  1. 1. Inbox Zero A practical philosophy for managing email overload Hadley Wickham Thursday, 7 May 2009
  2. 2. 1. Why? My email 2. Inbox zero 3. Minimal responses 4. Filters for gray mail 5. Delete, delete, delete 6. Email dashes Thursday, 7 May 2009
  3. 3. How many of you feel overwhelmed by your email? Thursday, 7 May 2009
  4. 4. 2000 1500 value 1000 unread read 500 0 2007 2008 2009 265,000 emails 134,000 unread! Thursday, 7 May 2009
  5. 5. 2000 1500 value 1000 unread read 500 0 2007 2008 2009 Thursday, 7 May 2009
  6. 6. 1.0 0.8 0.6 read/all 0.4 0.2 0.0 2007 2008 2009 from Thursday, 7 May 2009
  7. 7. 350 300 250 value 200 direct sent 150 100 50 2007 2008 2009 Thursday, 7 May 2009
  8. 8. 350 300 250 value 200 direct sent 150 100 50 2007 2008 2009 Thursday, 7 May 2009
  9. 9. Inbox Zero http://www.43folders.com/izero Merlin Mann There is no way you will ever be able to respond to — let alone read in exquisite detail — every email you ever receive for the rest of your life. If you take issue with this, just wait six months, because, believe me, we’re all getting a lot more email (and other sundry demands on our attention) every day. What seems like a doddle today is going to get progressively more difficult — even insurmountable — unless you put a realistic system in place now. Thursday, 7 May 2009
  10. 10. Your time is priceless (and wildly limited) You need an agnostic system for dealing with mail that isn’t based on nonces, exceptions, and guilt. [The] ultimate goal is for you to spend less time playing with your email and more time doing stuff. Thursday, 7 May 2009
  11. 11. Key concepts Regularly empty your inbox Minimal response Delete, delete, delete Filters Email dashes Thursday, 7 May 2009
  12. 12. Response does not need to be proportional to request “Do you still need this?” “I don’t know” “Good idea. I’ll add it to my to do list.” “Here’s a link that might be what you’re looking for…” [Delete] http://www.43folders.com/2006/03/13/email-cheats Thursday, 7 May 2009
  13. 13. Delete! Most minimal response is none. “Just remember that every email you read, re-read, and re-re-re-re-re-read as it sits in that big dumb pile is actually incurring mental debt on your behalf.” Be brutally honest - if you’re not going to do anything with the email delete it now. Thursday, 7 May 2009
  14. 14. Filters grey mail “noisy, frequent, and non-urgent items which can be dealt with all at a pass and later.” facebook, comments, university/ department memos, newsletters, mailing lists Good catch all: contains unsubscribe http://www.43folders.com/2006/03/13/filters Thursday, 7 May 2009
  15. 15. 13 00 bannerpcard@rice.edu, carlyn@rice.edu, (5/d /35 ay 00 cchat@rice.edu, cmtcomment@rice.edu, !) giving@rice.edu, payroll@rice.edu, registrar@rice.edu, sandra@rice.edu, sallie@rice.edu subject:(weekly message), alldepts@rice.edu, list:quot;k2i-members.rice.eduquot;, list:quot;mailman.rice.eduquot; allfaculty@stat.rice.edu, faculty@stat.rice.edu, statdept@stat.rice.edu, colloquium@stat.rice.edu, undergrad@stat.rice.edu from:(statements@wageworks.com) from:(TIAA-CREF_eDelivery@tiaa-cref.org) Thursday, 7 May 2009
  16. 16. Patricia Wallace, a techno-psychologist, believes part of the allure of e-mail— for adults as well as teens—is similar to that of a slot machine. “You have intermittent, variable reinforcement,” she explains. You are not sure you are going to get a reward every time or how often you will, so you keep pulling that handle.” Thursday, 7 May 2009
  17. 17. Email dashes Don’t have your email open all day. Schedule times when you respond to emails. You can tackle emails a lot faster when you batch them up. Lack self control (like me)? Try an internet blocker: http://macfreedom.com/ http://www.43folders.com/2006/03/15/email-dash Thursday, 7 May 2009
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