Inbox Zero: Regain control of your mailbox!

In the next 6 minutes reading time your handling with your email inbox will change fundamentally! A clean Inbox Zero will be a reality…

What is the Inbox Zero?

Although we do know better, our workplace is full of distractions. Experts warn that interruptions at work lead to exhaustion and diminishing performance potential. Most email users do open their inbox within 7 seconds after they have received a notification.

According to an Apex performance survey, more than 50% of respondents open their mailbox at least eleven times a day. The email account is constantly present in the background – especially in the back of the head. Every new email has the potential to tear us from a concentrated working phase.

The Inbox Zero System has gained popularity worldwide. Merlin Mann devised the strategy in 2007. The secret is structured and controlled handling of electronic messages. Here you will learn in 4 steps how to regain the authority over your mailbox:

What is the Inbox Zero?
Step 1 – Use one inbox for all of your email addresses
Step 2 – Sort your already overfilled mailbox
Step 3 – The overflow with spam
Step 4 – Dedicated email time

Step 1 – Use one inbox for all of your email addresses

According to a Statista survey, the majority of German internet users have two to three private and at least one business email address. This is time-consuming. Therefore, use one email inbox to send and receive messages. It is possible to bundle messages for example in Outlook, Thunderbird or Gmail.

Step 2 – Sort your already overfilled mailbox

Do not edit each email individually. Use the features of your mailbox to create rules to collect for example newsletters collectively into the appropriate folder. With this tactic, your inbox should already clear up. Archive the remaining emails collectively. From now on, take a little time each day to decide what to do with the messages that have accumulated.

Use the following three folders:

  • Folder: Important

    If you still need the email later, you can not delete it. Create an “Important” folder and move this type of email to it.

  • Folder: To Do

    If the message requires your action, move it into the “To Do” folder. Create a reminder in your calendar at the same time. Tip: Use online services, such as Wunderlist to keep an overview of your tasks.

  • Folder: Paper Basket

    If none of those two options is true, you can overcome and delete the email immediately!

Step 3 – The overflow with spam

You have created an empty inbox, and your goal is to maintain that status. Spam regularly comes in the way of achieving your Inbox Zero. Unwanted messages can occur in the form of newsletters, commercial emails or social media notifications. Ask yourself the following two questions:

  • Am I interested?

    Create a folder with the name of the newsletter/ad and move the email. You also have the possibility to have recurring newsletters sorted automatically into the designated folder.

  • Do I read this recurring notification?

    Should you answer this question with no, unsubscribe the newsletter immediately.

Step 4 – Dedicated email time

That is the central and also the most difficult step. Use daily “email time” according to your personal needs. At this moment, you will process each email in your inbox. Proceed as it follows:

  • Delete

    If you are not interested in the email at all, do not hesitate to discard this message right away!

  • Reply

    If you don’t need more than two minutes to answer the email, respond immediately!

  • Reproduction

    If you are waiting for more information, use the folder “resubmission” and move the email into it.

  • Edit

    If your reaction to the email requires some time, use the “process folder” and add the task to your to-do list.

Inbox Zero at Building Radar

The Building Radar Inbox Zero keeps you up to date on every project. News on new projects and updates on current projects are automatically sorted into the relevant folders. Your benefit: all your necessary information in one place.

Read more about our Building Radar platform updates

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