I’m surprised this link is as highly voted as it is.
I think many people have trouble managing inboxes. Spam is a largely solved problem, but now in addition to human-human correspondence you will get notifications, daily deals, forum summaries, posts from mailing lists…this makes email management difficult.
I just discovered and subsequently enabled gmails “smart labels” thanks to this article. Incidentally, I think that was the only valuable tip out of the three. “batch your email” has been repeated ad nauseum since Tim Ferriss' book, and folders/labels have been around literally for decades.
I am Niraj, the writer of this post.
I thought batch your emails is the most important piece of advice I could give on this. While we complain about email overload, it is very important to note that we feel overloaded because we’re going to our inboxes too often. This is the single biggest reason behind our email woes. Our email handling is like a background process running and eating our resources all the time.
We’re in the process of building a product which will help you schedule when new emails hit your inbox. That should be a great way to time when you go to your inbox. This is launching within weeks.
I will say, I do Inbox Zero, but if I ever break it, it’s a good week before I manage to answer emails again. Getting back into the swing of things is hard.