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Open question: What's the point of inbox zero?

Open QuestionI have 10,021 unread messages in my inbox. Ignored newsletters and various bits of nearly-useless information make up most of that unread count (I think). That's why 10k+ unaddressed messages don't concern me.

But is my ease misplaced? There seems to be an awful lot of people -- or a few vocal people, I can't tell which -- that pursue "inbox zero" with evangelistic zeal.

To be clear, I don't fault anyone who pursues the tidiness of an empty inbox. If that's what you want to do, so be it. Rather, I just don't understand the motivations and intentions behind inbox zero (nor do I understand why so many feel it necessary to publicize their inbox successes and failures through Twitter ... but that's another matter).

So, because I find the whole "inbox zero" thing curious, I figured I'd toss out a few open questions:

  • Do you try to get your inbox down to zero unread messages? If so, why?
  • Is inbox zero something you try to achieve every day? Every month? Every quarter?
  • What does inbox zero represent to you? Does it have deeper meaning?
  • Does inbox zero lead to better overall organization?

Please share your thoughts in the comments area.


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