Zero Inbox

I was visiting a dear friend and colleague in Clearwater, Florida this week, when I noticed that she had over 4,000 emails in her inbox– plus an old account that she still has to check stuffed with over 7,000 emails. She confessed to feeling panicked every time she sat down at the computer, and also to the fact that she sometimes missed important emails buried in the irrepressible avalanche. Would you like to get this under control, I asked?

Two hours later, her primary account in Gmail was empty, with everything dealt with, pitched, or archived. The old account is now redirected to her primary account, where she can easily check it under All Mail from time to time. One place to look at everything. We set up a handful of color-coded tags, so she can customarily keep her inbox empty, and instantly pull up required emails via tags or word searches. We added her photo, so her emails now have a personal touch; and I taught her how to use Contacts, so she’ll have the basis for a mailing list going forward, and Tasks, so she has her to-do list within her inbox, with the capacity to link directly to emails the tasks relate to. We added a “send & reply” button, so she can do both simultaneously. Back to zero, nice and clean.

Finally, she made notes tucked into a new IT file on how to do everything, so she won’t panic when she tries to do any of these things again. The path is clearly marked.

Now she sits down to her computer revved up to tackle incoming work with joy– a kind of “bring it on” attitude, rather than “where can I hide?” I talked with her this morning, and she said, “Those 2 hours saved 2,000 at least in my life!” More time for walks on the beach and cooking fabulous meals, and for getting to her client consultations, which she dearly loves. The good stuff. It’s a choice.

Need some help? Shoot me an email. I love doing this.

Jo Cooper