Email: Inbox Zero vs Inbox Infinity

Has managing your email become a job that you dread? Does your inbox overwhelm you? Read on to learn more about two potential approaches: inbox zero vs inbox infinity.

You are not alone in your feelings of helplessness!

We get advertisements and spam, newsletters and subscriptions. On top of that are dozens of notifications from the apps and software that we use. How can we possibly keep on top of it all?

How can we do it without missing that important email from a family member or a work colleague?

Inbox Zero

One end of the inbox zero vs inbox infinity spectrum is the empty inbox. The idea of Inbox Zero was born back in 2007. Productivity expert Merlin Mann identified five possible actions for dealing with your email. He identified Delete, Delegate, Respond, Defer, and Do and developed a framework around these actions.

“Inbox Zero is a rigorous approach to email management aimed at keeping the inbox empty — or almost empty — at all times.” ‘Inbox Zero

It’s a worthy aim. An empty inbox can relieve the mental load of worrying about thousands of unread emails. Be prepared to devote some serious time to getting there, and staying there.

4 Unique Strategies for Reaching Inbox Zero, from Hubspot is a good starting point if you aspire to Inbox Zero.

Inbox Infinity

The other end of the inbox zero vs inbox infinity email-management spectrum is the do-nothing, bucket approach. Don’t try to organize, accept the deluge and use the search function in your inbox to find that important email.

Taylor Lorenz of The Atlantic, coined the term Inbox Infinity. In her article Don’t Reply to Your Emails – the case for inbox infinity she outlines this approach.

“Adopting inbox infinity means accepting the fact that there will be an endless, growing amount of email in your inbox every day, most of which you will never address or even see.”

Taylor Lorenz

Perhaps you fall somewhere in the middle. Would you like to maintain some control, easily find the emails that matter and get rid of some of those unread emails? This is where we at SDM can help. There are strategies and technical solutions that can help you get a handle on your overflowing inbox. They will help make sure you never miss an important message.

Whether your email is with Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or another provider, you can manage your inbox with labels and folders. By applying filters and rules, or simply by learning how to use the advanced search functions, you can regain control. And, of course, you can start unsubscribing from unwanted emails!

If you want to try an email service that is trying to help you with this, check out this article on the new HEY email service and this blog which gives a very detailed view of HEY.

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