How I Use the Apple Watch to Achieve “Inbox Zero”

I was listening to the A Slab of Glass podcast today and Chris Lawley talked about how getting rid of his Apple Watch was part of a process he was going through that lead to many changes in his life, one of them b being achieving “inbox zero” for the first time in basically forever. I’ve had the opposite experience and wanted to talk about it here.

Disclaimer here that this works for me, but is certainly not a thing everyone can do.

Step one of my system is allowing all email notifications come to my Apple Watch. This sounds insane, but for someone like me who gets a couple dozen emails a day, it works. Basically, I get a buzz on my wrist every time a message arrives and I can choose what to do with it right then and there.

  • If it’s an important email, I open my phone and act on it right away.
  • If it’s an email I want to look at, but not now, I just ignore it and go on with my day.
  • If it’s an email that I don’t care about, I archive it right away.

That’s it, that’s the system. This basically means that I never spend time in my inbox just wading through junk to find the gems. Because I’ve filtered out the crap as it comes in, my inbox is not a place I dread going, it’s a happier place. Some of it is “remember to pay this bill,” which is not super fun, but most of it is personal emails and newsletters like Sidebar or CSS Weekly which bring me joy.

Like I said in the disclaimer above, this is not something that will work for everyone, and there are tons of variables that could make this less compelling for you, but it’s been a life changer for me and has meant I’ve been able to live right around inbox zero for years.