>> Sunday, December 13, 2009
Inbox Zero, I have managed to keep my email at bay, and tell it who's boss inside my inbox.
And today, you get to know all about it. I basically make use of many features inherent in Gmail, along with a few tweaks, to make my Inbox look really clean and tidy. Having a clean inbox lets me focus at the task at hand. Read on to know about my email kung-fu.
- Use Labels: Labels are a really cool way to deal with emails. It's like folders taken to another level. The difference is that one email can belong to multiple emails. So, in case I have an forwarded email from an important friend, it can go to two labels, one by the name of said friend, and the other that's conveniently named "Forwards". Go to Settings > Labels to create yours.
- Use Filters: If you haven't done so already, set up filters in your Gmail account. Filters are a really efficient way of sending the correct email to the correct places. Make sure that only the most important email reaches your Inbox. The rest can all be neatly sorted. The best part is that Gmail lets you export/import filters. To do so, just go to Settings > Lab > Filter Import/Export > Enable. My favorite filters are listed below. Create your own by clicking "Create a Filter" near the Search Box.
- Forwarded Emails Filter: This filter simply looks for the strings "Fwd:" or "Fw:" in an email subject and applies the label "Forwards" to matching emails. It also archives the emails.
- Social Networking Filter: This filter scans the "From:" field of all incoming emails and applies the label "Social Networks" to those, which originate from, well, Social Networks. It also archives these emails.
- Hide Read Labels<: This feature manipulates the Gmail interface to only show those labels for which you currently have unread messages. Helps to draw your attention to the latest email.
- Multiple Inboxes: Who needs one Inbox when you can have 5? OK. So five may be overkill. But once you enable this feature, you can head over to Settings > Multiple Inbox and configure more inboxes which will show up next to, above, or below your main Inbox. This way, you can have one inbox for all mail, one for mails from your boss, and one for mails that have attachments.
I have been using all the above tweaks to blaze through my email each morning for over a year now. I am pretty sure that once configured properly, you will be able to the same for your inbox. Go ahead and play some crazy Gmail games!
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