The Only Real Way To 'DO' Email Is To Just Not Do Email

Ev Chapman
June 1, 2021

I hate email

But for years I faithfully held to the Inbox Zero mentality. Clearing my inbox every day, filing everything away in it's rightful place. Only to be filled up again in the very next second. I even had a friend email me after I tweeted a screenshot of my shiny clean inbox, saying 'not anymore hahaha.'

You see that's exactly the problem with Inbox Zero. The moment you think you're done, it just fills up again. Like a never ending abyss of lost productivity.

So I switched to the 999+ method.

I currently have 999+ emails in 3 different inboxes and I feel blissfully good about it. My inbox is the least of my worries in life and take up the least of my energy.

Here's how I spend the least amount of energy on email:

  1. Only open email from people I know. Spark Mail has a magic inbox that filters mail from real people into a primary inbox.
  2. Forget filing. Just archive. Gmail search is amazing enough that you don't need to file ANYTHING.
  3. Turn off those red badges. You'll be surprised how quickly you forget about email when badges are turned off.
  4. Check email once a day. Wait!?! But what if it's urgent? Trust me if it's urgent, they are not emailing you, honey.
  5. Send Less Email. The more email you send the more you receive.
  6. I'm honest with people. I just tell people I'm rubbish at email and they get the message pretty quickly and find other ways to contact me. Slack, Messenger, Twitter DM are all faster ways to connect with people.

Do I miss some stuff. Yep. Do people send it again. Yep. Let's end email once and for all, shall we?

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