re: Inbox Zero: How To Keep A Clean Email Inbox (And Mind) VIEW POST


Came from the newsletter.

Isn't archiving just putting the trash/clutter somewhere else from in front your eyes? I never grasped the theory of archiving, in fact I never used it. Hell, I don't even know how it works. But if it works like that, then I don't want to use it.

Either you keep an email because it's (kinda) important, or you don't. That is:

  • you keep it until you deal with it (Thunderbird has colored labels, I started to use those recently), and then delete it.
  • you keep it for future reference, that is why you use named folders to put those into
  • it has memories you don't want to forget, so you keep it.

My inbox has 1304 emails, starting from 2002-06-06. My trash has a retention policy of 60 days. If the deleted email is from before, chances are I won't need that email ever again. Again, I never used the 'Archive' button.


Hi! Interesting point, which allows me to clarify something — the archives are not just another trash.

As I wrote in the post, if an email is not important, you should delete it. If it has any importance, you should archive it once dealt with.

The key ideas is to use the archive as a place to keep email that's been dealt with but you may need to refer to in the future. Not keeping it in the inbox allows you to use the latter in a "todo list" fashion — which is a workflow I personally enjoy very much.

I suppose labels/folders/categories is an extra way of classifying important email — and you're absolutely right to use them if they help you making the act of finding older important email easier. :-)

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