Notes: One-Touch to Inbox Zero

  1. Unsubscribe from every newsletter, notification list, and broadcast list that isn’t absolutely essential (using a service like if necessary)

  2. Forward all your email accounts to Gmail, or whatever service you have to use for work.

  3. Use Mailstrom to batch delete hundreds (or thousands) of unimportant emails at a time, and then move all remaining emails from your inbox to a specially marked folder.

  4. Turn off multiple inboxes

  5. Turn off all “smart” features

  • Stars: Settings > General tab > set Presets: to 1 star (which you’re not going to use)
  • Personal level indicators: Settings > General tab > set Personal level indicators: to No indicators
  • System labels: Settings > Labels tab > hide all system labels except for Sent Mail, Drafts, All Mail, and (if you want) Spam
  • Categories: Settings > Labels tab > hide all categories in label list and message list
  • Circles: Settings > Labels tab > hide all circles in label list and message list
  • Labels: Settings > Labels tab > delete all labels at the bottom
  • Importance markers: Settings > Inbox tab > set Importance markers: to No markers
  • Filters: Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses tab > delete all filters
  1. Turn off all chat and social media apps

  2. Turn off all notifications

  3. Download a calendar app on every device, and make sure your calendars are synced across all of them

  4. Download the free version of Todoist or the 30-day trial of Things, activate the “Add task” shortcut, and practice creating new email-based tasks

  5. Download Evernote (or another note-taking program) on all devices; add the “forward-to” email address to your Gmail Contacts under the name “Reference”

  6. Download a Read Later app on all devices, and practice saving items to it from multiple locations

  7. Turn on Auto-advance in Gmail Labs

  8. Turn on keyboard shortcuts

  • Compose: C
  • Reply: R
  • Reply-all: A
  • Forward: F
  • Archive: E
  • Send: CMD + Enter
  1. Turn on conversation threads

  2. Follow the sequence

Open Gmail

Open the oldest email in your inbox

Decide what needs to be done about it, and take one of the 6 following actions:

  • Archive: E
  • Reply: R
  • Add to calendar, then archive
  • Create task ("Add task shortcut), then archive
  • Send to reference app, then archive
  • Forward to read later app F, then archive