5 Secrets of People with "Zero" Inboxes

An empty inbox is a happy inbox

So, you have 5,657 unread emails in your Gmail inbox. How the heck you managed to fall so behind on your digital correspondence, you’ll never know. Here, five secrets of people who keep their inboxes at zero on the regular.

They Unsubscribe From Newsletters And Spam

Sure, you love being the first to know about an Ann Taylor sale, but those email newsletters (which can easily add up to over 70 percent of your total messages) are taking a serious toll on your clean inbox goals. Take stock of what you actually want to receive, then use a service like to quickly unsubscribe from the rest.


They File And Sort Everything

The option to archive is there for a reason--use folders and labels to sort and organize emails you may need to reference again. That way, all that’s left in your inbox are messages that require attention and action.


And Use Filters

You probably don’t need to read every email from Barry your accountant, but you’d like to hold onto them, just in case. Log into your Gmail settings and choose the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab. There, you’ll see the option to create a new filter--plug Barry’s email address into the “From” box and create an automatic action (for example, Apply the Label: Taxes 2016). From there on out, any message he sends will skip your inbox and go right to the proper folder.


They Turn Off Notifications

Your neighbor just re-pinned 16 recipes from your “Brunch is Life” board. You probably don’t need 16 email alerts. Take two seconds to open up your Pinterest (or Twitter or Instagram or Facebook) settings and toggle email notifications off.

They Review The Oldest Emails First

Look, we all procrastinate. Just because those time-consuming/unpleasant emails are buried, doesn’t mean they’re not there. In fact, they’re one of the main reasons your email inbox gets backed up to begin with. Flip the order of your inbox from “newest” to “oldest” and work backward.

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...