Why Mailbox Won’t Fix Your Email

Mat Honan: No app will save you from e-mail. You can’t swipe and sort your way to a better you, no matter how long the line is. I’ve never understood why some people let email have such a strong effect on their mental and emotional well-being. I strive for Inbox Zero as much as the […]

Mat Honan:

No app will save you from e-mail. You can’t swipe and sort your way to a better you, no matter how long the line is.

I’ve never understood why some people let email have such a strong effect on their mental and emotional well-being. I strive for Inbox Zero as much as the next guy, but the 12 emails sitting there now that I’ve yet to deal with aren’t causing me stress. Why? Because I don’t let them.

I host my email with Google Apps, and access it using Apple’s Mail applications for both OS X and iOS. I use Gmail to filter and process common emails such as receipts or newsletters, but otherwise my email lives in one of two places:

  1. In my inbox, and
  2. In an archive folder.

I don’t tag emails, flag emails, or colour code emails. I read them, I respond to them, and I archive them. Weeks later, when I need to reference an email, I search for it.

Maybe that system is too simple for you. Maybe it’s too complex. Whatever the case, pick a system and move on. Time wasted checking email could be time spent writing about email. And seriously, what could possibly be better than writing about email?