Blog Post

29 June 2013

Zero Inbox Strategy That Works

I’ve struggled with cleaning up my inbox for a long time and I needed a zero inbox strategy to help me cope with my three active email accounts (2 business and one private). The last time I checked there were over 40 thousand messages: replies to my emails, proposals, pitches, newsletters, event invitations, notifications, confirmations, etc. Some of them were going back to 2008 but the bulk of them were fairly recent.

As with many other endeavours, the key to success is consistency. You should either reply to the email immediately, archive it or delete it once you’re done with it. It’s easier said than done and the zero inbox nirvana seems like a moving target.

Zero Inbox Strategy According to Mailstrom

Mailstrom is not an email client and is not meant to replace your Outlook or Apple Mail. It is a web-based solution designed to help you reduce the amount of email in your inbox. And what’s great is that it does it pretty much automatically.

Mailstrom is extremely easy to use. It works with any IMAP based email system meaning anyone using Gmail or iCloud is in luck. At first you need to link your email accounts to Mailstrom. Initially, I had some privacy concerns but in its excellent FAQ they explain the following:

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How does Mailstrom interact with my email?
When you connect your email to Mailstrom, Mailstrom downloads certain information about your email messages including the subject line and other metadata (sender, date, subject, etc.).

Does Mailstrom store the content of my emails?
No, Mailstrom only downloads the subject line and metadata. When a message is displayed in Mailstrom, the message body is passed through to the browser and never stored.
Mailstrom at first analyzes the content of your inbox. Since mine was quite substantial it took over a day but the wait was worth it. There is essentially no learning curve as the interface is very intuitive and consists of three panels. All messages are color-coded and divided up by categories. You can view them by sender, subject, lists, time, social, shopping and size. Clicking on the category brings up the groups of messages that in turn can be viewed in the third panel. Once you select a group or only certain emails within the group, you can delete or archive everything with one click. It is possible to answer to an email and then archive it. Additionally, you can choose to delete and unsubscribe from a mailing list – also with one click! You can specify the archive folders but I didn’t bother. I deleted some 17 thousand emails in 45 minutes – if something was sitting in my inbox since 2008 there is a very low probability I will ever need it again. A truly liberating experience!

Using Mailstrom seems to be the perfect zero inbox strategy, especially at the current very sweet price point of FREE. Watch the video demonstration of Mailstrom by its CEO, Dave Troy.