I dare say more than a few SLAW readers will have a New Year's resolution that, in one form or another, has at its core, a goal of getting to an empty inbox. Unfortunately, there is no magic button – it takes a lot of time and effort to get to an empty, especially if you have hundreds (or even thousands of messages) in your Inbox.
I won’t focus on cleaning up older messages in this post. My LAWPRO Magazine article Surviving the E-mail Onslaught has some quick tips. Probably the best collection information on this topic is the Inbox Zero series of articles on the 43 Folders site.
What I would like to suggest is a way you can get a fresh start on you Inbox for the New Year.
Simply send yourself an e-mail with a subject line of “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”.
That effectively draws a line in your Inbox.
You will find it much easier to keep up with current e-mails, including getting to the elusive goal of going home each night with an empty Inbox (at least after the line you have drawn). This will help you feel more positive, and at least partially, lift the weight of overflowing Inbox off your shoulders.
Yes, you will still have to go back and deal with your older messages, but having that line in your Inbox will give you a far more attainable goal of keeping current on your recent messages.
Happy New Year everyone!