5 Ways to Reach Inbox Zero

April 26, 2016
Oliver Stahl

We have a love / hate relationship with email.

We originally thought if you had a task manager in your email, with no download or installation, and could use it IN your email that it would be revolutionary in the quest for a weightless email task manager. Problem is, we learned quickly that people hated their email. Often times, they were far from inbox zero, and didn’t want a daily reminder of that fact.

We have since come a long way from the email-exclusive task manager app, but we still meet people fighting to get to inbox zero. Here’s a list of how to react to common types of email.

The 5 Ways to Fight Your Way Back to Inbox Zero

  1. Marketing emails: We all get these sales emails from feisty sales people. I admit, I will occasionally will go on a sales-email frenzy and send lots of emails to people that I think could benefit from using Tribe. When you get a sales email from someone it’s usually just best to respond.
    • If you are in fact interested in the service being offered, tell them! Once you do this, then they can start sending you precise examples of what they’re talking about that will speak to you better than a monotonous sales-email.
    • If you are not interested in the sales email then TELL THEM THAT! Ignoring some sales people will make them go away, others turn up the heat and come faster, harder, and more often. It’s usually best to quickly let them know you aren’t interested and that you appreciate them reaching out.
  2. Newsletters: You visited that website and subscribed to their awesome newsletter. Then, you realize that you just don’t care but you keep getting their newsletter every week. Some are really intense and send a newsletter everyday, or even worse multiple times a day. They’re only bad if you don’t care and don’t read them. Lot’s of people subscribe to their favorite newsletters because they find them valuable. Don’t blame the newsletter for sending updates, THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO! Instead, ask yourself honestly if you really need that newsletter. If you do, then commit and read it every time it hits the inbox. If you don’t, then unsubscribe from the next email and end your inbox’s suffering.
  3. Reply-All Chains: Maybe you get these at work, or have a family thats all about the Reply-All chain emails. Keep an eye on these and decide if they’re required to have you on it.
    • If you want to keep seeing the updates in the chain, keep that email in your inbox.
    • If you don’t need to see anything being said, sort that email into a new folder or hide it from view. These were the original annoying group chats that now happen over text message, mute it and put it in the corner, it’s taking up valuable “Unread Email” space.
  4. Things you want to avoid: We’ve all been here before. You get an email where you are asked to do something you don’t want to do. “Connect me with person X” or “Have you finished the TPS reports?” Point is, you ignore it until it floats below the bottom of your view and then its gone forever, right? FALSE. When you get these emails you must be brave and face them head on. If you see a task, you can quickly create a task by forwarding that email to Tribe so that you know what you need to do, and the task doesn’t get lost. See the email, read the email, be assertive and take action and GTD!
  5. Auto-Generated Bot Emails: Finally, the 21st centuries newest email problem: BOTS! Automated messaging bots are sneaky, they try and act like people until you start asking them questions only to find out there’s no one behind the helm of this email barrage you’re under! BOTS! The best way to deal with bots is similar to newsletters, you need to work as swiftly as you can to unsubscribe from their line of questioning, otherwise its not going to stop, ever.

A big reason people are far from inbox zero, is because they will read an email and mark it unread to remember to do something with it….SERIOUSLY!!!

jackie chan

People will read an email, and then MARK IT UNREAD EVEN THOUGH THEY READ IT. Why would people do this?? Well, if you were like me before I had Tribe and you wanted to remember something, you would mark it unread so that it appeared new to you the next time you checked your email. You would try and trick yourself into thinking its new and important. Craziness…

Do that a few times and this accounts for tons of emails being marked unread despite having been read. That’s why we created Tribe. Now, when you get an email follow these simple steps:

  • You see a new email
  • Read it
  • Look for a task in the email
  • If there is a task, quickly create a task to remember to do that thing later. If there isn’t a task then communicate back and be done.

We made it easy to create tasks from your email to help you combat your way to Inbox Zero while not leaving any email behind and unread. So instead of doing some sort of backwards, work-around behavior of marking a read email unread, or flagging it, or creating folders inside of folders, just take that email and forward it to Task@Tribe.do and move on. Tribe will take that email and add it to your task list for you to manage later. More importantly, you won’t forget to do that thing and you don’t have to leave that email marked unread.

Sending a Tribe Task

Alternatively, we built Tribe so that if you send someone a Tribe task, they’ll get an HD Email with buttons and options right in the email. If you get a Tribe task email from someone, you read it, and think to yourself “Yea, I can do that but I can’t do it until tomorrow“, you can tell Tribe in that email to remind you about that task tomorrow. Or you can read that email and tell it to never bother you and remind you, that’s totally cool too! With this function, you can receive an email, tell Tribe when you want to be reminded, and Tribe will remind you about it so that you can mark that email read while knowing you won’t totally forget about it later.

opening a tribe email

We’re trying to help people all over the world work towards inbox zero, and we hope these small tips help you. If you know of anyone trying to fight email bankruptcy send them this post, just please, don’t begin a Reply-All chain :)

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