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A reader recently asked me,"How do you deal with an incredibly full inbox that makes you feel like a jerk?"

I’m happy the question asks,"how do you deal." An inbox is as personal a space as an underwear drawer — we all have one and are all embarrassed by both its organization and contents. Thus to tell someone how to manage their inbox could be perceived as an intrusion into their undergarments.

And that would be inappropriate.

What is appropriate to share is my own principles of inbox management:

1. No scrolling. The inbox is my task list. I can fit about 20 emails in the message viewer in Apple Mail,which means 20 tasks. Any more than that and I feel like I’m losing control. Nothing spurs me to action like the need to get rid of the scroll bars.


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