Project Inbox zero

Since my inbox gets some times a bit overcrowded by mails and I have an attitude to reply immidiately or at least as soon as possible to mails and don’t want any unreads in my inbox, I have thought several times how to prevent and decrease as much as I can this from happening. I tried several ways, for example labeling each one to not doing anything at all etc but never got I a decent result.

Recently, though, I came with a fantastic idea. One of the killer-features of GMail is filters and labels. First of all, I wanted to test if Filters were supporting in the “From” field boolean inputs like “facebook OR twitter OR …”, because otherwise I would be screwed. I just didn’t want to search for every of my mail notification of various services the mail they use. Not to mention that some of them (like Facebook) uses a different mail of every mail they send. If it’s not Facebook it is another service, I’m 100% positive. Hopefully, boolean is supported in all Filter’s forms and that’s very handy.

So my idea was firstly to delete all existing labels and filters for Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and all the services that mail me and then create a new filter which will label all incoming mail from these services as “03 Social Notifications”. That’s what I call “Project Inbox zero”. Before I did this, I skimmed all of my social notification mails to write down all the needed services so I wouldn’t forget anyone. Be sure to click while creating the filter the checkbox “Apply also for previous conversations”. That will import the filter’s actions in all previous mail which is mets the preferences of the filter.

So now I’m keeping up with 15 labels and a couple more filters instead of like 30 filters and about 25 labels. If you want, you can also Archive the filtered mails in order to not have a busy and noisy inbox. There is another tip, that you can color your filtered label with a very strong color; like red or a quite deep blue.

Concluding, I think that’s a quite good idea. It automates these spam-you-want-mails processes and it’s very handy. If you have a better idea, suggestion for automating mail notifications, feel free to comment below!

posted: November 27, 2008
under: How To's, Web

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