For the past 5 years I’ve been practicing Inbox Zero. Unless I’m on holidays, I make sure that my inbox is at zero by the end of the day. This has saved me immense time and resulted in productivity gains, not getting lost in email and staying organised.
Inbox Zero is the concept of making sure there are no emails in your inbox at the end of the day. It also states that you should only check email a few times a day, and make a decision on email right away.
Most people don’t get started because the 1000s of emails sitting in their inbox that might become important one day. I don’t delete, I just Archive, so to get started several years ago, I just archived anything that I received more than 5 days ago and made a decision on the rest.
Gmail has a great feature called “Send & Archive” that automatically clears an email out of your inbox after you’ve replied to it.
The original presentation from Merlin Mann is below, I hope you enjoy it and it compels you to also move to Inbox Zero.