A while ago I wrote a piece about the importance the Inbox Zero method has had in changing the way I work, communicate and generally address issues on a day to day basis. It is surprising to what extent an inbox with 10,000 messages can make you feel totally out of control of your life. You know you are addressing SOME of the issues that come up, but you also realise that there are countless matters that have been left unresolved, people who have been waiting for answers, isuees that have been left unattended. Taking control of that mess is a huge task and while the Inbox Zero method is not the perfect solution (let's face it, there is no perfect solution to a situation that can never be resolved: while you were cleaning up your inbox two dozen more messages arrived) it is the closest thing to taking control you will ever find.
It is interesting to note that a great number of tech pundits have been declaring email "dead" as of late. Whether as a result of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (my kids refer to email as something you check for homework) or simply because people tend to opt for instant messaging systems, be they on computers or smartphones, the point they are making is that pretty soon email will no longer be around. Personally I disagree, if only because of the sheer number of email messages that still come into my inbox on a daily basis and the extent to which my entire business is driven by this medium. But it is not too crazy to imagine a nearby future in which the importance of email will fade and other means of communications will take its place. Personally I just hope it won't be something like Facebook.
For those of you who are still plagued by the "living in your inbox" disease, here is another interesting piece that gives some thought to implementing "the method", with special emphasis on the fact that ultimately everyone devises their own system within the method.