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Delete Your Inbox in 5 steps

Delete your inbox
It’s time to delete your inbox.  Sound scary?  For me it is a very scary concept.  How can I delete my inbox, when it contains so much important information?  There’s unread email I need to check out.  And what about the files, the passwords, the notes, and everything else about my life dating back to 1996 when I opened up my first “grownup” email account? I have 3 email boxes: 2 different corporate accounts and a personal account.  2 in gmail, and 1 in Exchange server. So here’s my plan:



Steps to delete your inbox:

Step 1 – combine accounts:
Combine accounts if you can.  I’m going to have all of my Exchange email automatically forwarded to my corporate Gmail account.  I’m considering forwarding my personal account there too.  That way, I have one system to work from.

Step 2 –  Install Evernote on all of my devices:
I’m making sure that whatever computer, phone, or tablet I’m currently on is running my synced Evernote account.  I’m going to store everything important in that system so I’m not relying on my email as an archive of every piece of important information.

Step 3 – Install Dropbox on all of my devices:
Files will no longer  be kept in email.  I’m going to take attachments that I need and store them in Dropbox, which is also installed on everything I use.  I’m also going  to use SendtoDropBox so I can forward emails with attachments and easily get them store in that cloud. From there, I can manage where those files might need to reside long term.  No more depending on my inbox for file archiving.

Step 4 – Play the Email game:
I’m going to play the email game four times a day until I’ve gone through my entire inbox.  Try it out: it’s awesome!  After that, I’ll play twice a day, and turn off email notifications on my portable devices.  If there’s an emergency, I can’t rely that email is the quickest way to get in touch with me.  That’s what we have Twitter, texting, and *gasp* phone calls for.  I’ll be replying, archiving, storing files and notes, and using the delete option with FURY for everything unimportant.

Step 5 – Unsubscribe:
I have way too much crap that goes into my inbox.  I’m going on a diet and unsubscribing from everything I find myself deleting more than 80% of the time.  I’m going to limit myself to 3 email subscriptions, which will be Marketing Profs, Chris Brogan, and Social Media Club.  I will remove myself from as many lists as possible, and mark “as spam” for those I can’t.

So that’s my plan.  It’s not a complete delete, but I believe this will put me on the right track.  Do you have any other suggestions or tools that help you battle your inbox?