It = Inbox Zero, she says it can't be done.:
Merlin Mann, the de-facto creator of Inbox Zero offered a nice rebuttal, basically saying, "you clearly don't get it."
Then, Alyssa writes another post, basically saying "Uh, yeah, it still won't work."
Of course, this isn't my fight, it's Merlin's, however, as a devout follower of Inbox Zero, relying on it constantly as my day in and day out way of staying sane, I offered this rebuttal, which are basically my feelings about email. (Which I doubt she'll post, but whatever.) Here it is.
Merlin, you are still the man.
I believe you are still missing the point. The point in Inbox Zero is to become a “decider” and a “do-er” instead of an email processor. You receive email, you make a decision about it’s purpose, either A) Respond right now if it takes less than 2 minutes, B) If it takes longer than two minutes, Put it into a folder to reply later, C) Make a TODO to DO the thing that is in the email, and save the email, or D) Delete it.
Is the email that is sitting in my inbox right now, that I am staring at, actionable? Do I need to physically do something with the information that is front of me? Yes? Make to-do todo it, then DO it. No? Either file it, or delete it.
Follow this process until you hit ZERO emails in your inbox.
Then CLOSE your email. CLOSE it. And go DO the things that you made todo’s to, do.
Even if those todo’s involve answering the email that you put into a folder under “B", you need to DO them. Only check email about twice or three times a day, and you will be much more productive.
The point in Inbox zero is to process to ZERO, then CLOSE the inbox for the time being and GO CREATE. GO CREATE YOUR WORK BEING DONE.
Then, later, open it back up.