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#ProdChat – Demystifying Email Inbox Zero

#ProdChat – Demystifying Email Inbox Zero

You can find the questions and support resources for this tweetchat: http://rsidneysmith.com/productivity/prodchat/resources/

And, if you’re interested, join ProductivityBookGroup.org for our current reading of “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness” by Dr. Stephen R. Covey!

  1. Welcome to #ProdChat, the weekly #productivity conversation!  http://goo.gl/l4aNi9  | Today’s Topic: Demystifying Email Inbox Zero.
  2. Expect a high volume of tweetsfrom me tonight while I’m participating in #prodchat discussing inbox zero.
  3. More tweets than usual for the next hour during tonight’s productivity chat ( #prodchat ) on Email Inbox Zero. (join us!)
  4. #ProdChat starting now. Join us if you can. — Expect more traffic than normal from me over the next hour. :)
  5. Hello all…Got my inbox from 2,000 to 660 in prep for this chat #ProdChat
  6. So, let’s start with introductions! In a tweet, introduce yourself. #prodchat
  7. Email Inbox Zero seems like a mythical place, a desert oasis! Do you achieve it? How? Let’s discuss Email Inbox Zero on #prodchat!
  8. Email Inbox Zero seems like a mythical place, a desert oasis! Do you achieve it? How? Let’s discuss Email Inbox Zero on #prodchat!
  9. Hi all! Michelle here. Productivity geek, GTD’r and co-host of GTD® Virtual Study Group. #ProdChat
  10. @lewisjasona All’s well with you, Jason? :) #prodchat
    a href=”http://twitter.com” target=”_blank”>

    Wed, Feb 26 2014 17:01:50

  11. @Bertram_ByamJr Welcome, Bertram! I’m glad the #productivity chat could be an inspiration to reduce email stress! :) #prodchat
  12. I’m Jason… engineering manager, GTDer and productivity enthusiast! #prodchat
  13. @lewisjasona Glad to hear you’re doing great! I’m well myself, thanks! I’m excited for today’s #prodchat
  14. @alexlaree Hi, Alexis! Welcome to the #productivity chat! Tonight’s topic is exciting! I cannot wait to hear everyone’s thoughts. #prodchat
  15. Impressive!! :) RT @Bertram_ByamJr: Hello all…Got my inbox from 2,000 to 660 in prep for this chat #ProdChat
  16. Hey all! I’m Alexis, #CareerConsultant by day and in my business. How is everyone? #prodchat
  17. @nmhouston Hey Natalie! Sorry again for missing last week’s #ProdChat. Glad to see you tonight! :)
  18. Please add #prodchat to your tweets. Questions will come IN ALL CAPS as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. Answer A1, A2, A3, etc. for readability!
  19. Really great. I have a nice beer in front of me, so happy! ;) RT @lewisjasona: @michgunn Hey Michelle! How’s everything going? #prodchat
  20. I’m Natalie, a productivity coach & an English professor. I help my clients move forward on projects that matter to them #prodchat
  21. Q1: CONFESSION TIME: HOW OFTEN DO YOU REALLY HAVE ZERO EMAILS IN YOUR INBOX WEEKLY? WHY? #prodchat
  22. Q1: CONFESSION TIME: HOW OFTEN DO YOU REALLY HAVE ZERO EMAILS IN YOUR INBOX WEEKLY? WHY? #prodchat
  23. Q1: CONFESSION TIME: HOW OFTEN DO YOU REALLY HAVE ZERO EMAILS IN YOUR INBOX WEEKLY? WHY? #prodchat
  24. @michgunn Now that sounds like an excellent plan… I think I may have to get one of those myself. #prodchat
  25. Hey, Chaz! Welcome. RT @ndedtechguy: Chaz here! EdTech nerd in highered. Currently almost at #inboxzero #prodchat #inboxsix
  26. A1 Zero – occasionally. < 10 often most of the time #prodchat
  27. My work inbox is at 325 and my business inbox is 327 lol. Not as much as some but a lot for me! #prodchat
  28. True Inbox Zero confession time on #prodchat . . . @rsidneysmith isn’t pulling any punches :)
  29. True Inbox Zero confession time on #prodchat . . . @rsidneysmith isn’t pulling any punches :)
  30. A1: Well, it’s been a pretty good past week and I’ve made it twice… almost three times. #prodchat
  31. A1 Most days. I really hate the psychic clutter. Makes me crazy. I try to empty it by the end of every day. #ProdChat
  32. A1 2-3 time per week. Gives me a sense of peace. Always less than 1 screen.Usually <10. #prodchat
  33. Inbox0 is the journey or the absolute goal? #prodchat
  34. A1. NEVER. I think it’s because I’m constantly getting things in and also meeting with clients which takes time. Hard to keep up! #prodchat
  35. A1: Never #prodChat ..when I think i do I realize Google has tons more for me
  36. Sorry, my dad called (thought it was an emergency…it wasn’t!)…back to the #productivity chat! #prodchat
  37. Nice! :) Definitely gotta be the journey. RT @GTDbloke: Inbox0 is the journey or the absolute goal? #prodchat
  38. Man, I can’t imagine what the rest of the questions will be if we started off admitting our flaws. #prodchat
  39. Doing good Jason! “@lewisjasona: A1: Well, it’s been a pretty good past week and I’ve made it twice… almost three times. #prodchat
  40. @ndedtechguy Welcome to the #productivity chat, Chaz! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on email inbox zero! #prodchat
  41. @GTDbloke Journey definitely. Email contains my work. It isn’t work itself. #prodchat
  42. @rsidneysmith A1: Each email account has varying amounts, but generally no more than 10 each (about 50 altogether in 7 inboxes) #prodchat
  43. @GTDbloke Evening, Martin! Thanks for interrupting your vacation to join us! :) #prodchat
  44. right now 0 unread; about 80 that need further processing. Aim for true zero at least once every 2-3 months. #prodchat
  45. @mikevardy Glad to have you on the #productivity chat, Mike! Lay down the email wisdom! ;) #prodchat
  46. Sheesh! Sounds like I AM the email hoarder! #prodchat
  47. @GTDbloke It’s definitely a tough topic not to want to enjoy! Are you still in the States? Hope you’re enjoying yourself! #prodchat
  48. @mikevardy Hey Mike! I was just saying I’m channeling you and Schechter and enjoying a beer with my #ProdChat. Nothing fancy, but… ;)
  49. A1: Usually a couple of times a week, but it doesn’t last long. #prodchat
  50. A1: Usually a couple of times a week, but it doesn’t last long. #prodchat
  51. A2: It feels good to have everything processed. #prodchat
  52. If Inbox > 0 then if mean(Inbox) <= 1 day) “success” #prodchat
  53. If Inbox > 0 then if mean(Inbox) <= 1 day) “success” #prodchat
  54. @michgunn As long as it’s not TOO mainstream I approve! ;-) #prodchat
  55. A2: Knowing that there are no explosives in my email waiting for me.#prodchat #hurtlocker
  56. @rsidneysmith @profkrg I love the feeling of not having any mail in my inbox. Makes me feel accomplished and productive #prodchat
  57. A2: For me, the benefit is just knowing that I’m aware of everything I need to do… at least for an instant. #prodchat
  58. A2 benefit of inbox zero: sense of relief of not seeing old crusty unfinished things (even just from moving them) #prodchat
  59. Well… Stella Artois… so not sure how that rates… ;) RT @mikevardy: @michgunn As long as it’s not TOO mainstream I approve! ;-) #prodchat
  60. #prodchat A2: it’s aesthetically pleasing, gives that clean slate of productive healthy organization, & puts a smile on my face.
  61. #prodchat A2: it’s aesthetically pleasing, gives that clean slate of productive healthy organization, & puts a smile on my face.
  62. #prodchat A2: it’s aesthetically pleasing, gives that clean slate of productive healthy organization, & puts a smile on my face.
  63. +1 RT @mssackstein: I love the feeling of not having any mail in my inbox. Makes me feel accomplished and productive #prodchat
  64. @a_robinson For stuff like list serves, notifications, etc., Yes. There’s nothing actionable about it. I read when time allows. #prodchat
  65. A2 where does on start? It’s the intent – if you aim for Inbox) and do all the necessary even if >0 then likely all is well #prodchat
  66. Yes RT @lewisjasona: A2: For me, the benefit is just knowing that I’m aware of everything I need to do… at least for an instant. #prodchat
  67. But a lot of them! :( RT @profkrg: @michgunn We’re fine, Michelle. Thanks for asking. They’re just small and strange. #prodchat
  68. That’s personal RT @rsidneysmith: Q2: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS (TANGIBLE OR OTHERWISE) OF INBOX ZERO? #prodchat  http://goo.gl/Eeki3e 
  69. Hey girl! Good to see you again! “@Joannahertzberg: #prodchat Hey everyone, first time here!”
  70. @michgunn Plus, I hate having lots of unread or spam mail. Makes me uneasy when the numbers start popping up on my phone #prodchat
  71. @mssackstein @michgunn I can’t stand notification badges but can’t turn them off! #prodchat
  72. ditto!! RT @ndedtechguy: @mssackstein @michgunn I can’t stand notification badges but can’t turn them off! #prodchat
  73. A2 people trust and relay on you implicitly #prodchat
  74. interesting ? @a_robinson and @ndedtechguy — what exactly counts as your inbox (i.e. Gmail’s tabs, plus my filters) #prodchat
  75. Good one! RT @lewisjasona: A2: For me, the benefit is just knowing I’m aware of everything I need to do – at least for an instant. #prodchat
  76. @Joannahertzberg Hi, I am a 2nd timer! You’ll love it. Great connections and insight. #prodchat
  77. @nmhouston @a_robinson Just my inbox for me. It’s the only thing that matters. Other tabs are just fluff. #prodchat
  78. Inbox = Inbox – labels, folders etc, aren’t Inbox #prodchat
  79. @ndedtechguy @michgunn I can’t stand them either and have them off on most of the other apps, but I’m compulsive with email #prodchat
  80. @mikevardy @lewisjasona Yes! And that moment is resonating as you work forward into your evening and following day.#prodchat
  81. A2 Clearing my inbox means I’ve captured all the next actions or done the quick stuff. There’s nothing new on fire… #ProdChat
  82. @profkrg @ndedtechguy @michgunn I was never so addicted to cleaning out my inbox until I had a smart phone and was so aware of it #prodchat
  83. I prioritize: so my “primary” inbox tab is nearly always at zero. But filtered folders etc not necessarily. #prodchat
  84. A2 If Inbox is the ER then Inbox0 is triage #prodchat
  85. Oh, Actually, I turn off the auto fetching or Push, so the badge only updates when I manually check email. Stress reduced! :) #ProdChat
  86. @nmhouston: I prioritize:so my “primary” inbox tab is nearly always at zero. But filtered folders etc not necessarily. #prodchat”/SAME HERE
  87. Can’t stick around for the full hour of #prodchat tonight. Dinner beckons at half past the hour.
  88. A2. It makes me feel less bombarded when I have a zero inbox. Sorry I’m behind in the questions! Lol. #prodchat
  89. @nmhouston That’s a very good, balanced approach since Gmail is doing the heavy lifting of filtering. #prodchat
  90. On the other hand: email is not my job. Email is not my passion. Email is not my mission. #prodchat
  91. Q3: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DRAWBACKS OF TRYING OR MAINTAINING INBOX ZERO? #prodchat
  92. Q3: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DRAWBACKS OF TRYING OR MAINTAINING INBOX ZERO? #prodchat
  93. Oh, I should add that I use @sanebox, so I don’t have junk mail in my inbox EVER. I ditch the rest of that by the end of the day #ProdChat
  94. @michgunn that’s a good way to keep from being “always on.” #prodchat
  95. Well said… RT @nmhouston On the other hand: email is not my job. Email is not my passion. Email is not my mission. #prodchat
  96. Preach, Natalie! ;) RT @nmhouston: On the other hand: email is not my job. Email is not my passion. Email is not my mission. #prodchat
  97. @michgunn I think that limiting notifications is a great way to reduce unnecessary stress! #prodchat
  98. The funny thing is I have come to use the term “Inbox” as a trigger across the board, as I wrote here:  http://www.productivityist.com/blog/being-okay-with-your-inboxes  #prodchat
  99. A3 don’t try too hard on the process and miss the content #prodchat
  100. A3 don’t try too hard on the process and miss the content #prodchat
  101. Stuart Roseman sends me nice emails every so often. ;) RT @rsidneysmith:I’m telling you, @sanebox should be writing you checks! ;) #prodchat
  102. A3: There are no cheat days. Gotta keep the inbox manageable. #prodchat
  103. A3 I don’t see a drawback once you’re in steady state #prodchat
  104. OMG yes!!! Was a hard habit to break. Now much happier! RT @profkrg: @michgunn that’s a good way to keep from being “always on.” #prodchat
  105. A3 Not to be a smarty but not worrying about getting to zero…to me inbox zero idea = zero not filtered #prodchat
  106. A3 Not to be a smarty but not worrying about getting to zero…to me inbox zero idea = zero not filtered #prodchat
  107. A3: It’s difficult to stay at inbox zero and you feel bad (behind?) when you aren’t. #prodchat
  108. Yes, I do that everywhere I can. RT @nmhouston: I think that limiting notifications is a great way to reduce unnecessary stress! #prodchat
  109. A3: Once I reach inbox zero I want to stay there and have to work hard not to be constantly processing to keep zero. #prodchat
  110. A3: Once I reach inbox zero I want to stay there and have to work hard not to be constantly processing to keep zero. #prodchat
  111. @GTDbloke I am at a loss for words that you are at a loss for words! ;) #prodchat
  112. A3 one drawback on Inbox0 (not neessarily just Inbox0) is it needs a decent skill in managing your email pgm+SW savvy in general #prodchat
  113. @lewisjasona So hard. Can lead you down a rabbit hole of checking email to process to keep at zero but not actually working. #prodchat
  114. #prodchat @nmhouston I agree. But people are,so I look at it as if I’m sitting w/them 1on1.Sometimes they sit alone for 48 hours. Lol.
  115. @mikevardy Thanks for sharing, Mike. I’ll read that after. #ProdChat is too fast to keep up with tonight. ;)
  116. @GTDbloke Yes, that would be my main argument. You *must* know how to use the best functions of your email program to maintain! #prodchat
  117. Aw, the love!! ;) RT @rsidneysmith: @GTDbloke I am at a loss for words that you are at a loss for words! ;) #prodchat
  118. If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  119. If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  120. If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  121. If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  122. If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  123. A3: Biggest struggle is avoiding the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  124. A3: Biggest struggle is avoiding the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  125. A3: Biggest struggle is avoiding the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  126. A3: Biggest struggle is avoiding the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  127. A3 Drawback of inbox zero? Heckling from those who see your inbox and are jealous. ;) #ProdChat
  128. RT @nmhouston: If trying for inbox zero makes you feel bad, don’t do it. Don’t do “productivity” stuff that makes you feel bad. #prodchat
  129. +100 MT @mikevardy: avoid the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  130. +100 MT @mikevardy: avoid the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. It’s just one (small) aspect. #prodchat
  131. Sometimes the challenge with Inbox Zero is presuming email is the best way to communicate for everything. It’s not. #prodchat
  132. Sometimes the challenge with Inbox Zero is presuming email is the best way to communicate for everything. It’s not. #prodchat
  133. Sometimes the challenge with Inbox Zero is presuming email is the best way to communicate for everything. It’s not. #prodchat
  134. Sometimes the challenge with Inbox Zero is presuming email is the best way to communicate for everything. It’s not. #prodchat
  135. @rsidneysmith Indeed. Pick up the phone or walk down the hall sometimes. #prodchat
  136. A3 maybe we need a higher level GTD/email etc. capability. That’s email for the masses but something else for the productive #prodchat
  137. If you’re interested in reading with ProductivityBookGroup .org, we are reading “The 8th Habit” currently. Join us! #prodchat
  138. A3 A friend with 4000+ unread emails recently adopted inbox zero. He is sold & now singing the praises of feeling on top of stuff! #prodchat
  139. I have 14 emails right now. I feel good about that. But, they’re all “to dos.” They should be on my list. The struggle is real. #prodchat
  140. I have 14 emails right now. I feel good about that. But, they’re all “to dos.” They should be on my list. The struggle is real. #prodchat
  141. Great point! MT @mikevardy A3: Biggest struggle is avoiding the idea that dealing with every email equates to being productive. #prodchat
  142. @profkrg @ndedtechguy @lewisjasona I would freak also, but only because it’s a loss of control…importance has been extracted. #prodchat
  143. Q4: HOW DO YOU SYSTEMATICALLY EVALUATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR EMAIL INBOX? #prodchat
  144. Q4: HOW DO YOU SYSTEMATICALLY EVALUATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR EMAIL INBOX? #prodchat
  145. Q4: HOW DO YOU SYSTEMATICALLY EVALUATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR EMAIL INBOX? #prodchat
  146. Amen! RT @rsidneysmith: Sometimes the challenge w/ Inbox Zero is presuming email is best way to communicate everything. It’s not. #prodchat
  147. @michgunn Or, that boss or colleagues feel like you don’t have enough to do! So, they start pushing more your way! #prodchat
  148. . @rsidneysmith 100% agree I have one client who treats email like mobile texting…what a mess #prodchat
  149. @rsidneysmith You know what also works? Your legs. I make a habit to walk down the hall to address coworkers. #prodchat
  150. @rsidneysmith You know what also works? Your legs. I make a habit to walk down the hall to address coworkers. #prodchat
  151. @rsidneysmith You know what also works? Your legs. I make a habit to walk down the hall to address coworkers. #prodchat
  152. in the original 43folders, Inbox Zero is 1st of all a quick strategy to bring relief. Then comes processing. Inbox Zero != GTD #prodchat
  153. in the original 43folders, Inbox Zero is 1st of all a quick strategy to bring relief. Then comes processing. Inbox Zero != GTD #prodchat
  154. Okay, folks…gotta jet. Dinner time here one The Left Coast! I’ll try to catch #prodchat again next time. Enjoy the rest of the week!
  155. @profkrg @michgunn it’s not 14 surely but their age and/or importance? #prodchat
  156. @a_robinson Yikes! That client needs a netiquette and communications management skills training intervention! #prodchat
  157. @a_robinson is an interesting question tho, with smartphones, how (some) people use email is definitely changing #prodchat
  158. A4: Person. Project. Priority. And always honor the 2 minute rule. #prodchat
  159. Gotta run. Wife awaits! This was fun. I’ll likely be back! #prodchat
  160. A4: I try to process it and respond or add to my to do list, then file. #prodchat
  161. @rsidneysmith not to mention people who cc you on every.single.email people need filters to for what they share #prodchat
  162. @nmhouston but Inbox) doesn’t man you have the capacity to manage an unreasonable workload? #prodchat
  163. A4: 1. Delete junk, 2. Process – file heavy reading for later (batch), do the easy stuff, put the rest in OmniFocus #prodchat
  164. @a_robinson The opposite might be worse. Important info over txt msg. UGH! Email me anything important or that requires followup! #prodchat
  165. A3 as i stated to Michelle Inbox0 doesn’t mean you suddenly have the capacity to manage an unreasonable workload #prodchat
  166. @a_robinson @rsidneysmith AMEN to that. Good grief. The unnecessary clutter of that drives me nuts. #prodchat
  167. @a_robinson There have been several email “manifestos” that have tried to create a set of standards for these things. More needed!#prodchat
  168. Next time, Chaz! Thanks for joining us! :) RT @ndedtechguy: Gotta run. Wife awaits! This was fun. I’ll likely be back! #prodchat
  169. A4. The 2 minute rule. Which is a 30-second rule if I’m on my phone. #prodchat
  170. A4. The 2 minute rule. Which is a 30-second rule if I’m on my phone. #prodchat
  171. LIKE!! RT @nmhouston: A4. The 2 minute rule. Which is a 30-second rule if I’m on my phone. #prodchat
  172. @GTDbloke if your workload is unreasonable then all the inbox processing in the world won’t save you. #prodchat
  173. @GTDbloke if your workload is unreasonable then all the inbox processing in the world won’t save you. #prodchat
  174. @GTDbloke if your workload is unreasonable then all the inbox processing in the world won’t save you. #prodchat
  175. Right!? Ugh!! RT @halduauthor: @michgunn @a_robinson that is the worst! You can’t do anything with it #ProdChat
  176. @nmhouston AGREED! Great rule from my already blocked out times for my to-dos. #prodchat
  177. A4 I sort email by date and conversation. @mikevardy actually just wrote a post about this, but I can’t find the link. #ProdChat

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