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Initially published on Medium — February 16, 2016

For years, I struggled with efficiently and effectively tackling my e-mail inbox. As I entered the “real” world, I knew that I couldn’t have hundreds of e-mails sitting unread for weeks at a time.

I tried out a ton of different options, none of which worked on both mobile AND desktop. I needed to craft a solution that accounted for both. After spending hours reading about all of the different ways power-users tackle their inbox, I decided on this set-up.

I’ve been using this set-up for almost a year now, and although my inbox isn’t at zero every night — it gets pretty close. I’ll cover the mobile workflow at the end of this post, as well.

This is what your Gmail will look like by the end of the article:


Example Gmail workflow:

1. Received an e-mail from Jonathon — it goes directly into my main inbox


2. Open the e-mail from the main inbox.


3. At this point, I have a couple of different options.

Option A) I can reply immediately, and archive the e-mail.

Option B) Move the e-mail to my Action Needed folder — so I remember to reply later.

In this case, I opted to do the second option.

4. Using keyboard shortcuts, I just simply pressed: “V” to open the prompt for “Move to”


5. After moving to: “Action Needed” — the e-mail is out of my main inbox and now sits in my: “Action Needed” inbox