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Email Challenge Day 2 – Declutter Your Inbox with 1 Move

By | 212 comments

Welcome back to day 2 of our 5-day email challenge.

(In case you missed day 1, go here.)

There are thousands of fellow AE fans from all across the world taking this challenge. We’re here to help you cut your email time in half and we’re excited to have you with us.

During the week, we will be posting one new tip each day to help you cut down your email time in half. By Friday, you’ll know how to spend less time in your inbox and more time doing the things that really matter to you.

The depressing trend of email addiction

As I mentioned yesterday, there’s a digital tsunami going on where people all over the world are chained to their inboxes. People are getting dopamine hits from hearing their email clients go off which makes the email addiction even worse.

We want to stop this email addiction. Ideally, you would go cold turkey but we know that’s not sustainable for everyone. What will work is slowly getting you less addicted to your inbox.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when people actually looked forward to receiving email. Less than 10 years ago, you didn’t need a system because you didn’t have over 100 new messages a day to wade through.

The email trend indicates we will get more emails and notifications in the future.

The email trend indicates we will get more emails and notifications in the future.

And the problem is only getting worse. For some people, email is turning into their full-time job. Unbelievable, but true. A recent McKinsey report showed that as much as ¾’s of an information worker’s time is spent on or in email.

McKinsey Social Economy Report shows we spend 3/4 of our days on email

McKinsey Social Economy Report shows we spend 3/4 of our days on email.

With this email challenge, we want to help you cut your email time in half. We’re all overloaded by emails and unless we do something about it, it’ll only get worse. So let’s start this fall on a high note by clearing out the email inbox.

The first step is the one you took yesterday. You recorded how often you checked your inbox. Were you surprised? Maybe even shocked?

We want to use this number as a barometer. The number of times you check email is an indicator whether you’re addicted to email or not.

To put it in perspective, most Asian Efficiency team members don’t check their email more than twice a day. Most us don’t deal with email for more than 30 minutes in a day. This allows us to consistently do deep work, focus and take nights and weekends off for our families and hobbies.

On the other end, we’ve seen people check their email over 100 times. Don’t feel bad if you’re on that spectrum – it’s more common than you think.

Here’s a picture of a sheet of paper of a client who did the same exercise about a year ago with me:

See all the dots? That’s 89 dots. This client, an account manager at a big corporation, checked her email 89 times in a day to stay in touch with her clients. We eventually got it down to four times a day.

The main difference is that she stopped mindlessly checking email or feeling stressed about what might have happened. Whenever she checks her email, she knows exactly what to do and moves on with other important work.

There was no more FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. It’s this little demon that feeds our habits to mindlessly check email and get a dopamine hit.

Today’s challenge is to slowly quiet that little demon.

Challenge #2: Archive all messages in your inbox older than 30 days in your “Archive” folder

The second step in this the challenge is to archive old emails (anything older than 30 days) to your “Archive” folder. Archiving your past due/spoiled/rotten/overripe/moldy/expired emails will give a manageable number to work with for this challenge.

Why would you want to do this?

We have found, from working with hundreds of people, that emails older than 30 days don’t make any difference. Whether you reply to the email 30 days late or 6 months later, the repercussions are negligible. If it’s important enough to need your attention, the sender will send you another reminder email about it.

Think of this mass archive as stripping the fat so you can get to the core – the truly important emails. They’re the ones that have been sent within the last 30 days. While archiving a heap of emails at once isn’t ideal, it’s important that you set yourself up for success.

This all about having peace of mind that you only have important emails in your inbox. The more peace of mind you have about your inbox, the less you will check it. It’s much easier to stop mindlessly checking your email if you have confidence that you have your inbox under control.

Today’s challenge is a shortcut to help you get that peace of mind by archiving emails older than 30 days. Notice I didn’t say delete your emails – just move them to your archive folder. That way you don’t have to worry about losing anything.

The emails will still be searchable. You’ll be able to quickly locate the archived message if you need it in the future.

We recommend you set up one “Archive” folder and move everything in there. If you’re a Gmail user, you can simply press the “Archive” button to get the same effect without having to create a new folder.


Archiving your 30+ day old emails may not seem like much, but you’ve now set up the foundation for an efficient email processing system (which we will give you in the next couple of days).

Let us know in the comments when you’ve done this and how often you checked email yesterday.

Once you’ve done that, you’re eligible to win one of the prizes:

1. The new Apple Watch (version 3 that just got released last week) ($329 value)
2. Amazon Echo ($180 value)
3. Fitbit Charge 2 ($150 value)

Check back tomorrow for challenge #3.

Update: Day 3 is now available.

Discover the 1 Lifehack of Highly Successful People

This one lifehack led to the biggest breakthrough of my career. People like Steve Jobs and Oprah have used it to catapult their success, and now you can too.


Posted by TK  | September 29, 2017 at 8:03PM | Reply

Ok, did it! Checked e-mail 32 times today.

Posted by Nha Nguyen  | September 26, 2017 at 4:19AM | Reply

Done archiving.
I checked mail as quick as possible, but I failed to limit it to 3 times a day.

Posted by Joseph Weeden  | September 25, 2017 at 5:19PM | Reply

I check my email 4 times a day… I dedicate 30 minutes at a time.
AE is so helpful.

Posted by Lisa Young  | September 25, 2017 at 12:08PM | Reply

I checked emails 30 times yesterday and completed the archiving step.

Posted by christine mcmullin  | September 23, 2017 at 9:19PM | Reply

Archiving completed. Checked my email 3-4 times an hour for a total of just over 30 times at work. Not good.

Posted by Valerie  | September 23, 2017 at 4:17AM | Reply

Checked emails 15 times.

Archiving done!

Posted by Cynthia  | September 22, 2017 at 5:03PM | Reply

Checked email 5 times. Archiving done!

Posted by John  | September 22, 2017 at 3:57PM | Reply

Done. I did not have any emails older than 30 days.
However I did check my emails 55 times today

Posted by Neil  | September 22, 2017 at 3:07PM | Reply

On the plus side, I only had 2 emails to archive.
On the downside, I checked my email way too much. 84 times.

Posted by Vijay Srikantapuram  | September 22, 2017 at 11:53AM | Reply

I checked my emails at least 70 times.

Posted by Oren  | September 22, 2017 at 11:31AM | Reply

17 times, still archiving, lol

Posted by Kenny  | September 22, 2017 at 9:31AM | Reply

1 hour an 11 minutes

Posted by Eric  | September 22, 2017 at 8:01AM | Reply

Guess I’m already doing okay. Yesterday I used email for 1.5 hours, though that’s checking it over a dozen times. I have no emails in my inbox older than 4 days old. Still room for improvement.

Posted by David  | September 22, 2017 at 6:44AM | Reply

I checked email 7 times. I archived all old emails (use apple mail and had old emails put in folders, so in essence they are archived)

Posted by Adam  | September 22, 2017 at 5:59AM | Reply

Checked 5 times but was expecting responses and have notifications switched off. Archived 23 messages more than 30 days old. A month ago, I did something similar and archived 300.

Posted by Aaron  | September 22, 2017 at 2:32AM | Reply

Archived and ready for step 3

Posted by Liz Rolle  | September 21, 2017 at 9:40PM | Reply

I checked my email 9 times – although I think that was more than my average because I was stuck on a train for 90 minutes which is not my regular routine.
I’ve eliminated hundreds of emails and processed scores more. I haven’t quite brought it down all the way to the last 30 days, but I’m squeezing the last few out bit by bit.

Posted by James W.  | September 21, 2017 at 8:09PM | Reply

Archived emails. Checked email 12 times.

Posted by Ashley  | September 21, 2017 at 4:30PM | Reply

I lost count by 20, at least 2-3 times each hour at work. Then when I get home as well.

Posted by Brenda Keen  | September 21, 2017 at 4:22PM | Reply

I was out of office (medical related stuf) for two days, so archived the over 30 day old email today. Checked email first day 3 times – BUT I spent around 3 hours in email in one of the checks. So, number of times I check is less a barometer than time “locked in” the email in box.

Posted by Bill  | September 21, 2017 at 3:56PM | Reply

Archived and checked 17 times

Posted by Theresa  | September 21, 2017 at 3:29PM | Reply

I checked my email 10 times. More than thought. Things have been easier at work recently as my project has just gone live, so I didn’t have anything to archive.

Posted by Dayna Flumerfelt  | September 21, 2017 at 11:07AM | Reply

I’m doing better with the email challenge than the keeping up with posting about it! I have been archiving my emails since I started listening to the podcast at the beginning of the year.

Posted by Kalen  | September 21, 2017 at 10:51AM | Reply

OK, I archived everything. I checked my email at least 29 times on Monday

Posted by Shelly  | September 21, 2017 at 10:24AM | Reply

16 that I was counted

Posted by Mch  | September 21, 2017 at 9:59AM | Reply

I’m slow to get going, but after taking the “sound” off incoming mail on my iPad, I am learning a new habit of Email 3 X a day. What a relief. I have also spent part of “saved time” editing the Archive.
Thank you indeed!


Posted by Dominik  | September 21, 2017 at 7:07AM | Reply

Checked email 10x yesterday

Posted by Cindy  | September 21, 2017 at 6:11AM | Reply

My inbox still has a lot in it, but it feels good to tidy up.
I checked my mailbox 15 times.

Posted by Paul  | September 21, 2017 at 4:52AM | Reply

Checked my email 30 times yesterday; already have an Archive folder since I try to obtain Inbox Zero…my problem is how often I check!

Posted by Lucius  | September 21, 2017 at 12:12AM | Reply

I found that when I’m busy with my work I don’t check my inbox. But during my spare time it is like a fidgeting tool for me. If I don’t check it for 4-5 hours, then I would be anxious about missing something important.

Posted by Russ  | September 20, 2017 at 10:25PM | Reply

41x. Needs work.

Posted by Bob Wollyung  | September 20, 2017 at 8:47PM | Reply

still counting for the first day. 2nd day task is already accomplished regularly.

Posted by Kelley  | September 20, 2017 at 8:28PM | Reply

Checked email only 8 times today, compared to 10-15 times before. Deleted emails that is over 30 days old, didn’t know I had that many.

Posted by Joshua B Church  | September 20, 2017 at 7:58PM | Reply

I checked my email seven times yesterday. And I am proud to say that I, for the most part, maintain “Inbox zero”. I process emails as they come in.

Posted by Duncan  | September 20, 2017 at 7:52PM | Reply

Checked email 98 times yesterday – and now that I’m paying attention to it, the vast bulk was compulsive checking (on the phone in line for a coffee, on the computer while ostensibly paying attention to a conference call). Ugh. Archive is completed, and man, even that felt really good.

Posted by Kelley  | September 20, 2017 at 7:29PM | Reply

Less than 20 minutes, it’s working so far…

Posted by Edgar  | September 20, 2017 at 6:45PM | Reply

Archived. I checked my email 68 times. I work at a clinic so it’s somewhat expected but i imagine i can be far more efficient with less checking.

Posted by Josh Adams  | September 20, 2017 at 5:40PM | Reply

Done! 1hr28min spent on email – checked it 12 times

Posted by Randall Million  | September 20, 2017 at 4:52PM | Reply

Archived less than a dozen and transferred another half into To-Do items. I checked my work email a couple dozen times and my home email about half that. The better thing is that I have come up with a list of questions that I want to answer.

Since I am forced to use Outlook: (1) How do I view the calendar without seeing my inbox? (2) How do I search my archive and sent mail (for reference) without seeing my inbox? (3) How can I start a new mail message without seeing my inbox?

Posted by Karen  | September 20, 2017 at 4:30PM | Reply

Checked 16 times. Archived emails!

Posted by Toby Carver  | September 20, 2017 at 3:09PM | Reply

I archive my email regularly and I use the ‘delete’ button often. I checked my email 10 times on Monday.

Posted by Caro  | September 20, 2017 at 2:59PM | Reply

Checked 11 times but no mails older than 30 days!

Posted by Jung  | September 20, 2017 at 2:24PM | Reply

Work and personal email settings are totally different. Non-office day checked 15 times on the phone. Office days, I have to check as it comes in–nature of my work which this challenge doesn’t account for.
Already had archive set up, but serendipity on timing, as I’m usually Inbox Zero w/ work emails but was at 2 months…
Also, I manage many email accounts, again nature of what I do and why, but for my personal main gmail, email count doesn’t bother at all. I have no idea how to archive the 20,000 emails en masse, and don’t really care, as I always find what I’m looking for and it’s easy to flag/color code what I need.

Posted by Sonya  | September 20, 2017 at 2:09PM | Reply

I checked my email 20+times yesterday. Archive set up…

Posted by Heather  | September 20, 2017 at 1:56PM | Reply

Checked email more than 55 times yesterday. yikes. Emails are archived.

Posted by Helen Gunther  | September 20, 2017 at 1:43PM | Reply

Checked work email 28 times. Only started no 9 months ago but emails from day one still in inbox. Just created archive folder and dragged everything not from Sept in there. Having anxiety that there is something I will miss but commited. Tomorrow personal email. I know there is 2 year old stuff in inbox there. Count on personal email is going to be interesting the “peaking” notification on phone will blow it out.

Posted by Adam  | September 20, 2017 at 1:35PM | Reply

I checked my email 65 times yesterday. Yuck… archived any older than 30 days today. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Posted by Joe P.  | September 20, 2017 at 12:57PM | Reply

Old emails already archived. Checked email 20 times yesterday.

Posted by Ellen G  | September 20, 2017 at 12:18PM | Reply

Checked my email 27 times. WHAT??? But I did archive a s*** ton of old emails. Feeling good.

Posted by Oli  | September 20, 2017 at 12:05PM | Reply

All archived – c. 100 emails. Checked inbox 17 times yesterday.

Posted by Sharon  | September 20, 2017 at 11:47AM | Reply

I check my email 49 times , conservatively speaking.

Started to Archive, but with 10,000 emails.. may take me awhile.

Moving on to day 3 to start right with today’s email sorting. Been wanting to do this for a long time. … thanks guys for the nudge (or was it a shove!)

Posted by Mlg  | September 20, 2017 at 11:34AM | Reply

Done. I checked email 5 times on day 1.

Posted by Susan C  | September 20, 2017 at 11:34AM | Reply

I already have a really good email system in place at work, including an archive and filing system. Personal is where I’m logjammed. Putting those 5-year-old emails into an archive felt so good!

Posted by Myru  | September 20, 2017 at 11:01AM | Reply

Archive done. I checked my email 4 times yesterday.

Posted by Allan Miller  | September 20, 2017 at 10:47AM | Reply

The old are archived – I checked email 24 times yesterday – looking forward to the benefits of cutting that in half :-)

Posted by Faith A.  | September 20, 2017 at 10:32AM | Reply

Old emails are archived! Such a refreshing feeling. I checked email 16 times yesterday, which actually wasn’t as terrible as I expected!

Posted by Steve Woodfield  | September 20, 2017 at 9:21AM | Reply

Checked email 28 times! Including quite a lot on my commute. Cal Newport would be very cross with me.
I’ve archived my emails across my accounts. Felt very liberating!

Posted by Keri  | September 20, 2017 at 8:29AM | Reply

Checked email 12 times. Will work to get that number cut in half. Old email archived!

Posted by Dayna Flumerfelt  | September 20, 2017 at 8:17AM | Reply

Archived. Also, wasn’t clear on instructions so I’ll repost here that I checked email about 12 times yesterday. Was late to the challenge Monday night so counted for Tuesday. Doing the challenge made me resist the urge to FOMO-check a couple of times.

Posted by Anne Fry  | September 20, 2017 at 7:21AM | Reply

Emails archived. I’ve been working on this on and off over the last few weeks but it was good to do it and get this done. I checked my email 11 times yesterday. More than I thought I did! Interesting

Posted by Katie  | September 20, 2017 at 6:46AM | Reply

23 times for me. I’m fortunate enough that I am quite good with keeping inbox zero, so no archive necessary!

Posted by Benjamin Marshan  | September 20, 2017 at 3:28AM | Reply

Yesterday I checked my email 30 times. I’m reasonably good at work but sitting at home I frequently randomly check. I generally keep inbox zero already but I did do a tidy up last night.

Posted by AA  | September 20, 2017 at 3:23AM | Reply

Archive Done. Only 5 email left.

Posted by Patricia  | September 20, 2017 at 3:11AM | Reply

Checked my email about 35 times. No emails in the inbox older than 30 days old, because I’ve mostly taken action or put them in Omnifocus for further action. But how does it count when you spent an hour answering emails? Seems like that should count as once?

Posted by Anil Agrawal  | September 20, 2017 at 2:51AM | Reply

Checked emails: 2x personal & 2x work (both on mobile devices only)

Archive done

Posted by Susanna  | September 20, 2017 at 2:22AM | Reply

Archived & deleted tons of email. Checked my email yesterday around 6-7 times.

Posted by Nate D  | September 20, 2017 at 1:52AM | Reply

Checked email 15 times. Old emails archived.

Posted by Pat L  | September 20, 2017 at 1:26AM | Reply

Open up my mail app 6 times today. My inbox does not have any emails over 30 days, but I do have emails already filtered into folders but unread for past 30 days so I marked them as read.

Posted by Paul L  | September 20, 2017 at 12:17AM | Reply

Checked email ~22 times. Archived the works. Down to only 3 emails in my Inbox.

Posted by Jarrod  | September 19, 2017 at 11:59PM | Reply

Checked 17 times, but this was probably down on usual as i was aware of not going to it. More aware i get stuck in there too now. Archive done

Posted by Christine N  | September 19, 2017 at 11:45PM | Reply

Checked my email about 35 times in 24 hours. I only had a few in my 3 email inboxes that were more than 30 days old – now archived!

Posted by Dave  | September 19, 2017 at 11:32PM | Reply

Archive complete; went from 1400 in inbox to 96! Checked my email about 12 times yesterday.

Posted by rachael  | September 19, 2017 at 11:28PM | Reply

I checked about 11 times but I was on for long periods of time a few times.

Posted by Jourdan Rystrom  | September 19, 2017 at 11:14PM | Reply

Archive complete. Wow… it feels freeing already! Checked my email 8 times today.

Posted by Angel F  | September 19, 2017 at 11:04PM | Reply

I just purchased the AE Primer and have been working the email piece. First, in google so easy. It is beautiful to see a very lean in box. Now I am in the process of working
I am weeding my archive mail to pare it down also.
Working on paperless billing now too.

Morning routines are in p,ace pretty much along with a very basic night routine.

Thank you, thank you

Posted by Carlos  | September 19, 2017 at 10:59PM | Reply

Do not spend long time over emails (already use some of your techniques, e.g.: zero inbox), but still checking email box at least 6 times a day…

Posted by Jenny K  | September 19, 2017 at 10:54PM | Reply

Checked email about 30x yesterday! Will archive first thing in the am.

Posted by Tyrone Ceaser  | September 19, 2017 at 10:51PM | Reply

Archive done! I’ve been archiving for a while, but am somewhat inconsistent. Checked my emails about 10 times per day. Yesterday, 5 times.

Posted by Tara W  | September 19, 2017 at 10:43PM | Reply

I checked my email 68 times yesterday. As an event manager – I unfortunately reach for my phone more times then I should. I archived my work emails and although it didn’t tell me the number of emails, it did date back to early July. I also have 4 gmail accounts and it took a long time but I archived them as well. There were over 7,355 gmail emails just sitting there. I am ashamed – but hey that’s why I am here right?!

Posted by HFG  | September 19, 2017 at 10:34PM | Reply

Done! Yesterday I checked my inbox 22 times

Posted by Jon  | September 19, 2017 at 10:26PM | Reply

Archive of old msgs completed. Checked email about 30 times throughout the day.

Posted by Cheryl  | September 19, 2017 at 10:12PM | Reply

I checked my email about 20 times yesterday. Still archiving as I have not worked on Inbox Zero before – many, many emails (in 3 systems)!

Posted by Ted  | September 19, 2017 at 9:59PM | Reply

Archived (what a relief)
Checked 11 times at work, and 14 times after work. I hate the 5:00 cram for all of the emails that pile up after lunch, but you’re too busy to get to…

Posted by Rob Boswell  | September 19, 2017 at 9:56PM | Reply

Checked emails 17 times. Completed archiving on 4 email accounts.

Posted by Jonathan  | September 19, 2017 at 9:55PM | Reply

I checked my email 25 times on Monday..
I’ve been archiving my email since I learned to do it in the OmniFocus Premium Posts.. great tip!

Posted by Dan Roberson  | September 19, 2017 at 9:51PM | Reply

Archive complete on work and personal emails. My count was 59 for yesterday, with checking email as often as every 10-15 minutes at points, ouch! I did manage to check email only once during a 3-hour all college meeting today though, so that’s a win in itself.

Posted by John  | September 19, 2017 at 9:33PM | Reply

I checked e-mail 12 times today. Business e-mail did not need archiving, but I archived or deleted over 1,000 personal e-mails.

Posted by Vickie Ruggiero  | September 19, 2017 at 9:24PM | Reply

Archived. Checked email 22 times yesterday.

Posted by Barb  | September 19, 2017 at 9:20PM | Reply

I only checked mine 9 times, but I was unwell yesterday and slept for 7 hours! I didn’t have any email older than 03 days to archive (phew!)

Posted by Todd Smith  | September 19, 2017 at 9:18PM | Reply

Nothing to Archive. My Inbox is almost always clean, but I checked email 39 times yesterday.

Posted by James  | September 19, 2017 at 9:18PM | Reply

Done. Checked 15 times

Posted by Mark  | September 19, 2017 at 9:17PM | Reply

Archive complete. Checked email 68 times yesterday. Could probably cut that down!

Posted by Sanjay  | September 19, 2017 at 9:16PM | Reply

Archived all old email. I checked email 21 times yesterday, but I set up reminders on my watch to check it only every 4 hours today, I checked only 5 times. Was helped by the fact that I was in a long meeting all afternoon and I went 4 hours without my phone. Everyone in the room marveled at my “courage” leaving my phone behind! terrible happened while I not checking my phone!

Posted by Gigi  | September 19, 2017 at 9:15PM | Reply

Set up archive folder and moved several pages of emails 30 days +. Checked email 9 times.

Posted by Katie  | September 19, 2017 at 8:56PM | Reply

No emails needed to be archived. I checked 17 times yesterday. My problem is I sit to process then get side tracked with an outside issue then have to come back.

Posted by KG  | September 19, 2017 at 8:30PM | Reply

I checked email twice today. Usually I check more often, but just didn’t today, maybe because I’m doing this challenge? I usually respond or delete emails soon after getting them. Archiving sounds like a great idea. I use my junk mail fold for a similar purpose. For 30 days email is saved if I need it I can retrieve it. I use to hold onto email more. But my 30-day junk mail folder seems to be working well for me. Glad you’re doing this. I appreciate getting an opportunity to see how I can save more time on email.

Posted by Amanda  | September 19, 2017 at 8:10PM | Reply

Checked my email 14 times- looking forward to the next step in the challenge!

Posted by Ruksana  | September 19, 2017 at 7:57PM | Reply

Emails archived.. checked emails : 1 1 times and acted on them 8 /11 immediately..

Posted by Dawnna  | September 19, 2017 at 7:54PM | Reply

Checked too often to be efficient/ effective in my day. Seems I hate seeing the unread message reminders on my phone without clearing them out.

Posted by Sumeet  | September 19, 2017 at 7:30PM | Reply

Archived my email, and I checked my email 7 times today.

Posted by Adam  | September 19, 2017 at 7:09PM | Reply

I checked my email yesterday 8 times from the mobile as i was out of the office. I have an archive folder set up but don’t have any emails in the inbox older than 30 days.

Posted by Donna Matthews  | September 19, 2017 at 6:56PM | Reply

No need to archive – everything in email box is current. I checked email only once today – but only because it’s a vacation day :)

Posted by Terry Lewis  | September 19, 2017 at 6:53PM | Reply

Light day, only about 20 times to check email. Everything older than 30 days out of my inbox!

Posted by Samuel  | September 19, 2017 at 6:24PM | Reply

Totally checked my email 22 times yesterday. Realizing quite a bit of it ends up being junk though… :)

Posted by Rusty  | September 19, 2017 at 6:23PM | Reply

I checked my email over 50 times… Inbox is now archived

Posted by Chris  | September 19, 2017 at 6:14PM | Reply

I moved my old email to the archive. Great to see a less cluttered inbox.

Posted by Diana  | September 19, 2017 at 6:08PM | Reply

Archived inbox and checked email 2x yesterday. Feels good knowing that I am doing the same things as the AE team :)

Posted by Nícolas  | September 19, 2017 at 5:47PM | Reply

I check my e-mail once a day ! I have been do this about 1 year and don’ spend more the 15 min

Posted by mat_rhein  | September 19, 2017 at 5:41PM | Reply

OK. Final count for checking emails: 23 times. My goodness! that’s a lot!

Posted by Adele  | September 19, 2017 at 5:39PM | Reply

Archive done! Checked my email 10 times today. Wow, I had a lot of email there!

Posted by Matthew Austin  | September 19, 2017 at 5:37PM | Reply

I didn’t have any older than 30 days in my inbox! Phew.

And yesterday I checked my email 18 times.

Posted by LInda Maye Adams  | September 19, 2017 at 5:36PM | Reply

15 times. I bumped over probably about thirty emails into archives.

Posted by Jeffrey  | September 19, 2017 at 5:32PM | Reply

Done. Over 25 times.

Posted by Lynne  | September 19, 2017 at 5:31PM | Reply

Emails archived. Checked email 8 times on Monday

Posted by MartaAnna  | September 19, 2017 at 5:30PM | Reply

I have checked it over 50 times…

Posted by Lee Anne Detzel  | September 19, 2017 at 5:24PM | Reply

Archiving complete. Checked email 8 times yesterday.

Posted by Chris Davidson  | September 19, 2017 at 5:17PM | Reply

Checked work email no less than 16 times yesterday while at the office. My email inbox is now processed and clear.

Posted by Ted Martin  | September 19, 2017 at 5:16PM | Reply

15 checks, but everything is archived now…

Posted by Michael  | September 19, 2017 at 5:11PM | Reply

I’ve always archived relevant emails immediately after I process them. Checked email 6 times yesterday.

Posted by Kevin  | September 19, 2017 at 4:50PM | Reply

Work e-mail… 8 times. Personal e-mail, 15. Archived work e-mail over 30-days. Personal e-mail is all current stuff.

Posted by Tamika  | September 19, 2017 at 4:29PM | Reply

I checked email 7 yesterday but everything older than 30 days is archived now!

Posted by Antal-Pap Judit  | September 19, 2017 at 4:23PM | Reply

I don’ have to archive today, I have only one mail in my inbox that is older Than a month, but it will be useful in two weeks. So it is not an accident. Checked mails 6 times

Posted by Mary  | September 19, 2017 at 4:17PM | Reply

Archived! Checked my email 28 times yesterday. woah

Posted by Sara  | September 19, 2017 at 4:01PM | Reply

Already at inbox zero. I checked email less than 10 times but definitely had to resist the mindless click-and-see impulse several times.

Posted by anthony j  | September 19, 2017 at 4:00PM | Reply

checked email 17 times (but may have missed a few others !). turned notifications off when i first started following AE which has helped reduce number somewhat. i only have 21 emails in my inbox and archived 3 that were over a month.

Posted by Marcel  | September 19, 2017 at 3:57PM | Reply

archived! I checked my work and personal mail 22 times yesterday

Posted by David Mullens  | September 19, 2017 at 3:56PM | Reply

I have my email pretty well cleared out…but I checked it way too many times yesterday….perhaps 30 or so…I found I’m sneaking looks via my phone!

I don’t have any emails older than 30 days because I try to keep it cleared.

Posted by CBK  | September 19, 2017 at 3:46PM | Reply

Archive complete. Checked email 32 times yesterday–way too many!

Posted by Thomas  | September 19, 2017 at 3:44PM | Reply

Private mailbox: Empty – no archiving neccessary ;-)

Business mailbox: Some 100 mails, but all quite new :-(

Check mailboxes around 10 times yesterday.

Posted by Tyler  | September 19, 2017 at 3:25PM | Reply

Archived, and 17 times.

Posted by Tim H.  | September 19, 2017 at 3:24PM | Reply

I already had the archive folder in place and do as you suggested, but I’ll need to work on checking email. I did so over 100 times yesterday…

Posted by Andrea  | September 19, 2017 at 3:12PM | Reply

Checked email 19 times today and processed my inbox 3 times to reduce it to zero.

Posted by Sam  | September 19, 2017 at 2:59PM | Reply

92 and have all archived

Posted by Eddie Lau  | September 19, 2017 at 2:54PM | Reply

Done achieved, yesterday check for 16 times, not much?

Posted by Kristen Smith  | September 19, 2017 at 2:50PM | Reply

I checked email 14 times yesterday on the computer (and another 3-4 times on my phone).

I was at inbox zero yesterday, so I didn’t have to archive any old emails.

Posted by Richard Jones  | September 19, 2017 at 2:33PM | Reply

I checked email 21 times yesterday and I archived all email 30 days old.

Posted by Rena Wolf  | September 19, 2017 at 2:28PM | Reply

Number of times I checked my email yesterday: an embarrassing 86 times!

Archived my gmail today and I must say that this inbox looks much more manageable after doing so!

Posted by AE Ismail  | September 19, 2017 at 2:09PM | Reply

I archived all of my old emails about two months ago, and have been trying to end each day with “Inbox Zero” since then.

Since yesterday’s email challenge was sent out, I checked my email about 20 times.

Posted by Charles Mason  | September 19, 2017 at 2:07PM | Reply

I checked email 10 times yesterday – need to get that down.

Right now the oldest e-mail in my inbox is 11 days old.

Posted by Donna Woodwell  | September 19, 2017 at 1:55PM | Reply

I’ve been following the Inbox Zero plan for three or four years now. It took me a week to REALLY learn how email works, and beat the pile down from literally 10K to zero. But I’ve kept it there ever since.

But, I’ve been holding it down to 20 to 40 the past month, which I figure given the level of chaos, is good. Somewhere in my bi-annual Equinox get back in balance retreat I will need to make a couple hours to get the last bit moved to their appropriate to-do lists and archive folders!

Oh, and I checked my email 7 times yesterday, but we are in the middle of a launch.

Posted by Andy  | September 19, 2017 at 1:44PM | Reply

I didn’t have any emails to archive, as I was at inbox zero when I left the office yesterday. The downside to that feat was that I counted 36 different times yesterday I was working in my inbox. :(

Posted by edward  | September 19, 2017 at 1:41PM | Reply

Archive done. I checked my emails only 5 times yesterday!

Posted by Bob  | September 19, 2017 at 1:36PM | Reply

Mail checked 42 times yesterday;
archived 254 messages today!

Posted by Brian  | September 19, 2017 at 1:29PM | Reply

I’ve been practicing Inbox Zero for years so my email reaches zero on a daily basis.

As for how many times I check it, as tech support, my job is largely about checking email. Hundreds of times a day would not be out of the ordinary. Apart from the emergencies that arrive via phone call, much of my day is spent in email. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. :(

Posted by Torsten  | September 19, 2017 at 1:22PM | Reply

Archive done. Checked Emails more than 20 times

Posted by Jonathan Wheeler  | September 19, 2017 at 1:22PM | Reply

Checked email 2x yesterday.

I’m sitting at Inbox Zero right now.

Posted by Tim Howell  | September 19, 2017 at 1:20PM | Reply

I feel a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders……….

Posted by António FS  | September 19, 2017 at 1:03PM | Reply

Number of time I checked e-mails yesterday – more 22, both work and personal.
Just clean my gmail inbox and erase significant part of email older than 30 days. The other part was classified to read someday [and to be erase on the next cleaning when realise that have not read most of them :)]

Posted by Raymond  | September 19, 2017 at 1:00PM | Reply

Stopping the constant checking and archiving my email over 39 days old has made a tremendous amount of time available to do other things

Today I got back 45 minutes I didn’t have yesterday

I looking to get even more time

Posted by vaughan  | September 19, 2017 at 12:58PM | Reply

What does “Awaiting Moderation” mean?

Posted by vaughan  | September 19, 2017 at 12:52PM | Reply

Yesterday I checked my email twice.

I have nothing over 30 days, but I did set up an “Archive” folder.

Posted by Kwame Moloko  | September 19, 2017 at 12:51PM | Reply

Email older than 30 days is referenced as I processed it all a month ago.

Checked email 20 times, even when I knew there couldn’t be anything new. The dark side is too strong in my email. It calls to me constantly.

Posted by Mark Badeau  | September 19, 2017 at 12:48PM | Reply

37 times…

Archived both at home and at work

Posted by Lana  | September 19, 2017 at 12:47PM | Reply


Posted by Steven  | September 19, 2017 at 12:45PM | Reply

I checked 16 times yesterday. Archived most of my mails last week so only had a few left.

Posted by Maya  | September 19, 2017 at 12:44PM | Reply

Ooh, that was liberating. I actually archived everything not from September- pages and pages of stuff. All still searchable, just no longer in my face, GREAT tip!

Posted by Carolina  | September 19, 2017 at 12:40PM | Reply

Checked it 3 times in the morning. Archive folder made!

Posted by Tracy B  | September 19, 2017 at 12:37PM | Reply

I cleaned out all of my e-mails 2 weeks ago, so nothing to archive for me. I checked my e-nail 46 times yesterday. Definitely FOMO and using e-mail as a distraction.

Posted by Deirdre Shoemaker  | September 19, 2017 at 12:34PM | Reply

Spent 30% of my day yesterday on email. Horrifying, but have no emails older than 30 days in my inbox. I try to get to inbox 0 once a week .

Posted by Sue Smith  | September 19, 2017 at 12:28PM | Reply

Archived! Checked email 13 times yesterday.

Posted by Jim  | September 19, 2017 at 12:28PM | Reply

Checked e-mail 23 times yesterday and have archived all e-mail over 30 days old. I do check e-mail from my boss when it arrives and I get quite a few from him

Posted by Peter D  | September 19, 2017 at 12:21PM | Reply

Done. Checked my e-mail 18 times. That is on a day when I have been on the road and in meetings.

Posted by Steve Page  | September 19, 2017 at 12:17PM | Reply

Checked 73 times, I already delete emails i have dealt with, if they need more action taking me over the 2 minute rule i send them to my OF inbox.

Posted by Rachel  | September 19, 2017 at 12:07PM | Reply


So checked email around 11 times (anticipating a reply;)

Any hints on how to conduct a mass archive in gmail? It’s not as straight forward as I remember it to be… I can’t see the drop down menu to select unread; all etc


Posted by Tim  | September 19, 2017 at 11:55AM | Reply

archived all emails… but I’m a big inbox zero guy :).

I checked my email 14 times yesterday. I thought it would be a lot worse!

Posted by Rich  | September 19, 2017 at 11:55AM | Reply

Archiving has never been my problem. I have less than 6 emails in my inbox pretty much all the time and get to inbox zero frequently. It has been the checking of emails that gets me.

Posted by Deb Garrison  | September 19, 2017 at 11:51AM | Reply

I checked my email on Monday approximately 12 times.

Posted by Matt Vanderpol  | September 19, 2017 at 11:45AM | Reply

I only have emails that are new since last night so there was nothing to archive.

Checked my email 5 times yesterday.

Posted by Josh Click  | September 19, 2017 at 11:45AM | Reply

I have no email older than a few days but checked my mail 13 times on Monday, wayyy more than I thought I typically check it.

Posted by Andy Cochrane  | September 19, 2017 at 11:45AM | Reply

Checked 6 times. Archived anything that wasn’t relevant and added the rest to a to do list.

Posted by Barry Williams  | September 19, 2017 at 11:45AM | Reply

Archive Complete. I checked email 54 times yesterday

Posted by Milan  | September 19, 2017 at 11:43AM | Reply

Work on Win, Home on Mac. Same Unibox for work and private emails. Apple mail at Home and I have trust in him. I just checked twice. I use Mailbird at work and he is all the time open. Checked 38 times. I do not have emails older than 30 days.

Posted by Bob  | September 19, 2017 at 11:41AM | Reply

My work email is in pretty good shape, but my personal Gmail account was horrible! I’ve archived my inbox, and feel a lot better! As for checking email, I’m in the 10-15 times range…

Posted by Nathan Lowrie  | September 19, 2017 at 11:35AM | Reply

Archive is complete. I actually only had about 50 messages left that were older than 30 days. I discovered 30 of them were actions I should take at some point so those were put into OmniFocus and the rest were archived without looking.

Number of times I checked email yesterday: Personal was 2, Work was 8.

Posted by Yanesh Tyagi  | September 19, 2017 at 11:33AM | Reply

Checked my emails 25 times.

As a habit, since I read GTD around a decade back, I archive my emails either into the designated folders of general archive folder. I do this everyday at the end of the day so that next morning I do not have to look at already processed stuff. I do this for work as well both of personal email accounts.

Posted by Linh  | September 19, 2017 at 11:30AM | Reply

Archive done! I already did this one a few months ago, plus I *have* been trying to keep my inbox *relatively* clean so it didn’t take so long.

Checked my emails 15 times yesterday, which is quite surprising. I def thought I don’t check it as often. But it’s always good to know!

Posted by Melissa  | September 19, 2017 at 11:28AM | Reply

I’ve been done with that archiving step a long time ago since the first challenge I did. ;)

But this round I’ve so far discovered that I checked my email 9 times yesterday. I probably would have a few more if I weren’t keeping track, so I think a more realistic number would be at least 11!

About 4 times a day would be reasonable for me also! This includes…
— The “before anyone is up” check (which is mostly filtering out subscriptions and checking any morning plans)
— The mid-morning check
— The mid-afternoon check (most emails are in by this time)
— The final “no surprises in the morning” check

Looking forward to culling more subscriptions this week. They creep up on you!

Posted by Dr. Rhein Mathias  | September 19, 2017 at 11:25AM | Reply

OK, still counting the mail checks today, am at around 20 right now.

No emails older than today in the inbox ;-)… long live fast triaging using shortcuts with Spark ;-D

Posted by Kim  | September 19, 2017 at 11:25AM | Reply

Check emails 33 times yesterday. My work email is always at Inbox Zero :) But I will archive my gmail when I get home tonight.

Posted by Shay  | September 19, 2017 at 11:15AM | Reply

I check my email about 40x. That’s about consistent with every regular work day, not so much on the weekends.

I archived all my emails over 30 days. I was surprised how many there were (196) as I typically aim for zero at least once per month, however I have not made time to get through to zero in about 2 months.

Posted by Jessica  | September 19, 2017 at 11:13AM | Reply

I get to inbox zero every week or two, so nothing to archive. I didn’t make dots yesterday because I feel like there’s basically no time when I’m NOT checking my email. I need help, lol.

Posted by Joe Powers  | September 19, 2017 at 11:12AM | Reply

Done! Checked email 6 times.

Posted by Dave  | September 19, 2017 at 11:07AM | Reply

I checked my email 57 times yesterday and I archived all of my old emails.

Posted by Mike  | September 19, 2017 at 11:07AM | Reply

Archive done. Checked email 73 times yesterday.

Posted by Diane Thompson  | September 19, 2017 at 11:03AM | Reply

Archive done. I checked my email 20 times yesterday.

Posted by Jim  | September 19, 2017 at 11:01AM | Reply

Wow! That felt good. Gmail and Outlook complete. Email checks were over 80 yesterday.

Posted by Lauri  | September 19, 2017 at 11:00AM | Reply

I checked my email 8 times. Not so bad as I thought, but yes. Something needs to change! Archive completed!

Posted by Tor Sten  | September 19, 2017 at 10:57AM | Reply

I checked 8 times yesterday and archived everything today.

Posted by Kacy McKibben  | September 19, 2017 at 10:57AM | Reply

I checked my email 27 times yesterday which was way more than I thought I would. I just archived emails older than 30 days in my personal inbox and my work inbox – feels great!

Posted by Bernice Johnston  | September 19, 2017 at 10:55AM | Reply

I checked email 10 times. First thing in the morning is the big one as I no longer read a daily paper and use that time to catch up on world happenings.

Nothing older than a few days as I try to delete or file to keep inbox at 25 or fewer. If I skip checking for a couple of days, it’s overwhelming. I’ve also recently unsubscribed to those I keep deleting.

Posted by Wanda  | September 19, 2017 at 10:54AM | Reply

Gah! I checked my email 45 times yesterday – yikes! The archiving of my emails is complete, and I look forward to learning more about keeping my email habit in check!

Posted by Niran  | September 19, 2017 at 10:54AM | Reply

Archive done. Checked 11 times

Posted by marian phillips  | September 19, 2017 at 10:53AM | Reply

I check email when I first get in and a second time in the afternoon, but some of my work is email!
I receive orders and related paperwork to a specific email address that I do check more often when I know papers on the way. Rarely more than 4 times a day as I know more will be in and work them in batches and some days twice covers it.
Did the archive today. I’ve always archived orders and related information by customer, but I’m looking at tightening up the system a bit. I ditched some really old orders etc today.

Posted by Chris Williams  | September 19, 2017 at 10:52AM | Reply

Archive complete. Checked email 8 times on Monday.

Posted by David  | September 19, 2017 at 10:39AM | Reply

Done. I didn’t have any emails unarchived > 30 days!

Posted by Robby  | September 19, 2017 at 10:38AM | Reply

Emails are archived! Checked my email 30+ times (or more than twice per hour for both personal and work emails). Becoming more of a fan of the unsubscribe button every day. If only I could unsubscribe from some work emails ;-)

Posted by Teejay  | September 19, 2017 at 10:37AM | Reply


I checked 14 times (about every 1 – 1.5 hours) … yeesh.

Posted by Janeson Keeley  | September 19, 2017 at 10:36AM | Reply

I checked my email 10 times yesterday. Each time I looked, found something to do, did it (however long it took), and ~then~ went back and checked it again. I didn’t get through all the emails in my inbox until 10 PM. However, I had already archived all emails older than 30 days. (I’ll take that as a minor win for myself :-) )

Posted by Sonya  | September 19, 2017 at 10:35AM | Reply

Archive done. I keep mine open on my other screen, so I can’t even count the number of times I check it. It is constant. Just ridiculous!

Posted by Brian Bohley  | September 19, 2017 at 10:34AM | Reply

Already had old emails archived. Checked my 3 inboxes a total of 77 times.

Posted by Alex Ferrero  | September 19, 2017 at 10:34AM | Reply

Archive complete! I checked email 14 times yesterday, 10 of those on my phone due to being in meetings for most of the day.

Posted by Dani Smith  | September 19, 2017 at 10:32AM | Reply

Checked my email 6 times – room for improvement. Archive complete.

Posted by Allison  | September 19, 2017 at 10:32AM | Reply

I am sad to say that I checked my email 91 times yesterday. That includes on my phone.

Work to do.

Posted by Alice Ferris  | September 19, 2017 at 10:31AM | Reply

Surprised that I only checked 11 times yesterday. I also didn’t have anything older than 30 days that wasn’t already archived!

Posted by Simon  | September 19, 2017 at 10:31AM | Reply

I checked my e-mail 57 times yesterday. All old e-mails archived. Looking forward to the next step :)

Posted by Muyuan  | September 19, 2017 at 10:07AM | Reply

Both my gmail accounts archive all emails. I checked my email 10 times yesterday.

Posted by Alexander Malmström  | September 19, 2017 at 10:01AM | Reply

I have no emails older than a week :-)
I checked emails 23 times!!! Shame on me!

Posted by Laura  | September 19, 2017 at 9:39AM | Reply

I was at inbox zero so no need to archive. I lost count at over 100 times checking yesterday though so definitely need to work on that!

Posted by Todd  | September 19, 2017 at 9:32AM | Reply

Archive is complete. I checked email 29x yesterday. Surprisingly to me, the more frequent checking occurred at night when I had idle time than during the workday.

Posted by JenBou  | September 19, 2017 at 8:45AM | Reply

By the end of the day, I had checked my email over 80 times.

I went through my Gmail inbox and either deleted or archived messages that I had sitting there for more than two weeks. I send a few to Omnifocus for action.

Posted by Brian  | September 19, 2017 at 8:17AM | Reply

I archive emails continuously. Checked email 6 times yesterday.

Posted by Robin  | September 19, 2017 at 7:29AM | Reply

Archive complete. Checked email c.10 times on Monday.

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