Yumi's Blog / The zero-inbox philosophy

The zero-inbox philosophy

Emails today is corrupted. I, as a college student, get at least 10 emails a day, which is not too many, but it is definitely not satisfactory. It floods my inbox and I can lose track of emails I actually have to keep in mind. The zero-inbox philosophy is a practice I started about a year and a half ago in high school, which prevents all of that. I will share how I use this method everyday to never lose the emails that I actually need.

What is the zero-inbox philosophy?

This philosophy is a very simple way to organize emails. The aim of this practice is to make the inbox to basically be a to-do list, and all completed to-do to be in the archive.

How do I practice it?

First, I think of each email as a task to complete. If it’s a task completed, I move it to the archive folder. The inbox only consists of emails that I still need to take some action for; such as replying. The reason I archive, instead of just trash or delete, is because there are occasions when I want to look back at emails. If I archive my email, I know that it will be persisted, but will not be in the inbox. There are occasions when I know for sure I would never look at an email in the future, but I still put them in archive just in case.


There are a few more things I do to make my email experience better.


To see an empty inbox is such a relief, since that means I have nothing to do. The zero-inbox philosophy is how I can keep track of my emails and omit redundant to-do creation. The ideal is lack of newsletters and spams, but that would not happen any time soon. I hope this helps you in some form to organize your emails.