How to Get to Inbox Zero

Text of a talk given at the PLA 2022 National Conference on the “How To” Stage.

How many emails do you have in your inbox right now, read or unread? 

In my informal polling, most people have anywhere from dozens to hundreds or even thousands of messages. Keep in mind that a 2019 study by DMR estimated that the average person received 121 emails a day. Without a fast and efficient system to dispatch these messages, inbox backlog will slow down work and increases stress. While one could declare email bankruptcy by deleting the entire contents of the inbox, this is hardly practical. Instead, with the application of a few simple best practices the stress of email management can be vanquished.

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on

David Allen, author of the bestselling book, Getting Things Done, has thought deeply about workflow. He developed a system of best practices that revolve around managing workflow in an efficient manner. This approach can be used by any level of knowledge worker. It starts with a basic premise, so please repeat after me:

My inbox is not a storage location. It is a processing station.

Learn more by reading the rest in the articles section of this website.

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