Mastering the Inbox

I’ve come to a point where I’m absolutely stressed out about the crazy situation that I manage to put myself into with my inbox.

I have thousands of newsletters, product updates, promotions, and spam just laying amongst emails from colleagues, landlords, family, banks, etc.

With promotional and unsolicited mail mixing with important mail in my inbox, it’s hard to resist just deleting everything and starting fresh.

Look for an email client that makes task-based inbox easier.


By following two rules, I’ve managed to reduce inbox stress:

  1. Treat everything in the inbox like a task.
  2. Only check your inbox twice per day.

To do this, you’ll need to look for an email client that makes task-based inbox easier. I’m using Polymail because it has a bunch of nice features alongside gestures to speed up making things as done or to notify me later.

I spent a good two hours working through the plethora of emails that I needed to address. If it was a newsletter, I unsubscribed it. If it was work related, I scheduled a time to address it. If it was important, I answered it.

I finally managed to work through and reach Inbox Zero—heaven—serenity—peace—love—mung beans.

The next rule became a bit of a challenge. Polymail notifies of new emails, which is fine, but practicing not checking them immediately becomes difficult.

In order to encourage me to clear the inbox, I setup Polymail to give me the total inbox count instead of unread emails in the inbox. If something is in my inbox, I have to action it, that’s the rule.

With these two simple rules, I’ve made awesome progress towards decluttering my inbox and reducing stress.


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