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TPS16: Inbox Zero and Other Email Tactics to Spend Less Time in Your Inbox

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Thanh & Mike step in for Zachary and discuss tactics for managing your email as well as strategies and best practices for how you can achieve Inbox Zero to relieve stress and become more productive.

3 key questions for processing your inbox:
– What is it?
– Does it require a due date?
– What do I need available to do it?


Merlin’s epic Tech Talk on Inbox Zero
Inbox Zero post on the AE blog
Beyond the To Do List, Episode 54: Merlin Mann on Anxiety, Relationships, and Expectations
The Productivity Show, Episode 4: Contexts
OmniFocus Premium Posts
Productivity Blueprint
Inbox Zero

Need some help?

If you need some assistance managing your inboxes, we’re here to help! We’ve actually developed our own system for dealing with email called the “AE Email Workflow”. If you want to know how it works, we’ve put together a few resources that you can download for free as part of our “Inbox Zero Toolkit”.


The Inbox Zero Toolkit includes several valuable resources:

  • AE Email Workflow Diagrams explaining how the system works
  • 5-minute video on how to implement the AE Email Workflow
  • List of recommended email clients (for Mac & PC)
  • Our recommended folder structure to quickly find and archive emails

If you’d like to receive these free resources and start taking control of your inbox, just let us know where to send it to:

Inbox Zero toolkit

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Posted by Bruce Harpham  | March 10, 2015 at 7:16AM | Reply

Regarding inbox zero, I would add another concept: use email with a satisficing approach (

What does this mean? For me, it means there is often merit in writing a short response or stating, “let’s have a phone call to discuss this topic.”

Thanks for bringing our attention back to the importance of managing email effectively. These practices need reinforcement.

Posted by Chirag Mehta  | February 3, 2015 at 11:30AM | Reply

One of best tools I found for Android is CloudMagic to aim for Inbox Zero. Its integration with todoist lets me schedule my emails that way.

A stumbling is how you start! I just did a big wammy archive in Gmail. Felt so good!

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