Inbox to zero – part 2

empty gmailWell it’s been an interesting old day involving making shelters in a wood and a borderline concussed youngest daughter (misadventure with a drop slide). However, this evening I sat down with my dad and stepmum to watch ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and, multitasking like a pro, loaded my gmail account into Mailstrom.

As the article I’d read yesterday promised, Mailstrom did indeed make it a lot easier to whizz through the emails in my inbox, sorting them by sender and making the process almost pleasurable.

The thing I’ve always liked about gmail is the ability to archive emails. You might argue that this defeats the object of a virtual declutter but I do like knowing that, although it’s gone from my inbox, the email I’m dithering over doesn’t have to be banished forever.

And so a large amount of my inbox was archived, some into folders (clients, Mumpreneurs Networking Club, WI etc), some not (notes from my husband, an email from my daughter’s guide group, a train booking confirmation…). I deleted an awful lot too: out of date offers, old newsletters and unsolicited promotional stuff. Oh, and some emails that I’d meant to archive but I got a bit happy with the delete button instead. Ah well.

I was left with a handful of emails that needed some sort of action. I replied to two of them and deliberated over what to do with the others. One, for example, was a recommendation of a printing company from a friend. Previously, I would have just left that one in my inbox until I was ready to put an order in. I considered consigning it to the archive, then realised that one of my motives for keeping emails in my inbox was to keep them at the front of my mind so I didn’t forget them. Of course, this wasn’t working when my inbox was crammed, so I had a think about how else to organise this sort of thing. For now, I’ve bookmarked the link and put a date in my calendar (approximately when I think I might be ready to go to print) to revisit it. We’ll see how that goes. I archived the email rather than deleting it, as an insurance policy.

It took me around an hour to get my gmail inbox to zero this way, and it felt very, very good to see the ‘no new emails’ message. I’ll get onto my BTYahoo email address tomorrow, but it’s currently putting up a fight with Mailstrom, so I might have to do it unaided.

I’m a third of the way towards earning my nerd merit badge. I’ll let you know my progress tomorrow.

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