The Zero E-mail In-box Process – Part 2 – Cleaning out the Inbox

Every Sunday I start by performing my daily Zero E-mail In-box process. Then I start going through each and every e-mail in my inbox. I open each one. If I left it there, it was for a reason. In many cases I am just going to delete them. It may be a reminder that I left in there to be sure I took care of it. Everything else either gets archived, labeled, and then archived, or forwarded to Evernote, and then either deleted or archived.

I have many rules set up based on the sender, so that much of the labeling is done for me. This means it all boils down to one decision once I’ve decided I am not going to delete the e-mail. Is it something I need to follow up on later or not? If I do need to follow up on the e-mail later, then I forward it to Evernote. When you have an Evernote account, you are given a unique e-mail address. Any time you send an e-mail to that address, it will show up as a note in Evernote in your default notebook.

I love sending follow up e-mails to Evernote, because once there, I can easily add in my own comments, attach (embed) files, and then use all of Evernote’s features like tags, and reminders to ensure that I schedule the time to follow up, and also to ensure that when that time comes, I can find the information I need quickly. My system here accomplishes both, and it does it really well as you’ll see in the next segment. All you need to do for now, is get through every single e-mail, make that split second decision. Everything that isn’t being deleted is getting archived at this point. It’s just a question of whether or not you are forwarding to Evernote for more detailed follow up later on.

None of this is rocket science, but often times, it is simply a matter of seeing the process, and following it, so that you are clear on what to do, and how this can work for you.


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