I’m very happy to report that I have put my inboxes ( Personal1, Personal2, GMail, etc. to 0 messages). I believe that an empty inbox is a key to sanity, especially for those who live and die by the e-mail sword.

For anything that comes in any inbox I either:

  • Reply / take an action
  • Delete it
  • Archive it for reference

With just these simple three techniques and a few extra folders on my hard disk, I was able to empty all the existing mail in my inbox.

Now, I will certainly get more mail in the future, so how am I going to handle it? I will apply those three simple rules above.

I have added one more technology to help with a certain class of mail that I call “Moderate interest, low involvement” (MILI)1 mail. MILI mail examples are, updates from facebook, reminders from my credit card companies, notifications from the service department for my car, etc.

Traditionally, being a bit of mail guru, I have handled this by using filters, Procmail, senmail, perl, etc. Instead of managing the filtration ruleset, I’ve now “offloaded” that work to OtherInbox. It’s a utility whose handiness scales, at the very least, linearly the more addresses you have.

Here’s a video explanation of Otherinbox.

With my MILI mail gone, all I have to do is handle the thin remainder with my three techniques ( adapted from David Allen’s GTD methodolgy).

If you follow @otherinbox on Twitter, you may get a beta invite. Alternatively, mail me at otherinboxinvite@sgharms.otherinbox.com for the next 30 days and I’ll try to siphon your name to the beta board and get you an invite.

Footnotes

1 No, there is no VANILLI mail.