I'm gonna show you how long it takes to process 2500+ email messages to Inbox Zero.
Hi, I'm Jenny Famularcano. I'm a designer and I'm an educator helping you build a personal knowledge cloud so that you can create more fulfilling work with clarity.
Before I maintained Inbox Zero in my own email, I used it as kind of like the sketch pad for all of the responses that I was getting with all of my team members, between clients, even brands that I was shopping at and I would even use a search bar just to like find everything. It was literally just the place where I would keep all of the information that I needed for my projects.
What was struggling about this, though, is that I constantly had to be searching for what I needed to, like find. I also had to think back at what keywords might have been included in the correspondence that was before inbox zero,
What is inbox zero?
If you might not have heard of it quite yet, It is a term coined by Merlin Mann. The idea is, is that if it's completely clear, at the end of every day, you can come at it with some fresh eyes, and that you can just get to work and start work. You're just focusing on what is coming in my normal process.
When it came to inbox zero was literally just select all of the things and just archive it, because if I needed to process it, then I'll just wait until it comes back and then I'll start fresh, figure out what I needed to do with it then.
So I wouldn't have to like look at this gigantic list. But what I found when I'm working with my students is that it's actually really hard to feel the courage to just jump in or to archive everything or to feel like you need to process every little thing before you get started.
So I was curious exactly how long would it take, if I did it myself got it to a really like I just let my inbox go crazy. And just let it go for a little bit and see how long it would take me to inbox I was actually aiming for like 1000 in my responses. People on my Instagram told me how much inbox messages they had currently, and I actually went a little bit beyond that my goal was at 1000. Then I got really lazy and I totally forgot about it.
Now my email inbox is at 2500.
So I'm going to process like 25, the exact number is 2559. I just wanted to see what it's like to go from the very beginning.
If somebody had their way in terms of processing every little thing for the sake of science, and just see exactly how long it would really take.
I will be utilizing my Gmail account, I have my keyboard shortcuts on.
If you're in Gmail, you just need to go to your settings, see all settings, make sure your keyboard shortcuts are on and making sure that those settings are saved.
That way you can use the same shortcuts I am using believe I'm using two shortcuts, E for archive as well as the # todelete the messages.
Another rule that I'm going to do is if something is going to take me less than two minutes to do, whether it be unsubscribe or reply, I'm going to do those things. Also, if there's something that I want to save for later, I will be adding it to my other inbox in my personal knowledge cloud on notion. If it's like something informational that I can utilize for later or a link that I want to reference in the future, I put that into my Notion.
What's really funny about this recording is that the placement of the recording of my webcam is actually right over the Google window that shows a stopwatch where I'm doing this. So to fix that, I have the time of my computer in the corner and enlarge a little bit and hopefully that helps to show that this is all done in real time and that I'm processing every single message in this little experiment.
So all of those emails took 1 hour and 35 minutes. That is nuts.
I can't believe how long that took them.
Tips that I have for you when you're processing your emails
If there's something that you can do that's less than two minutes, just do it right then and there. If you want to hit unsubscribe from something, don't want to get any more marketing emails from a brand. just unsubscribe, it won't take you that long. If you want to sign up again, then you can always just go back and sign up on their website, it'll always be easy to re sign up.
Another tip that I have is from inc.com. I think even by Mann himself, where he talks about minimizing the inboxes that you have nowadays, we have a lot of messages coming to us from slack, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all the different places. If you have all of your inboxes all of your messages going to one place, it reduces the places in which you need to check every day. And so it's a lot easier to process
Read the article on inc.com here
Because you see everything all at once going through the process of selecting all of the unread messages and hitting archive, it's not deleting it. If you search your conversations within Gmail, it'll still be searchable within your archive as well.
It's not like anything is at a loss. So if you're feeling like a little overwhelmed, but the whole process of processing your inbox to zero, I would strongly recommend just processing it in archive and just starting, starting fresh and then taking it upon yourself to be conscious and intentional whenever you get those new messages coming in. Merlin Mann said that people take the idea of Inbox Zero way too literally, and that his inbox is actually looking like really swamped. So don't worry too much I would like so another tip is just relax. It's not going to be the end of the world if you skip your inbox processing or if it just gets let go a little bit.
The goal for Inbox Zero is to filter out the noise so that you can know exactly what's coming through during this whole experimentation process where I kind of let my email go, I actually lost some of my messages that I was really looking for. Just be careful about when you let it go that some messages might get lost in all the different other emails that you might be receiving. If you'd like to see a video on how I like to process and to keep my inspiration so that I'm ready for ideas. Whenever I'm ready to get started with work.
P.S. I'm hosting a FREE training on the 3 step method for designers to create with purpose by building a personal knowledge cloud and a place for all your educational and important emails to have a place that you're able to use again.
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