Emails first come into your mail program into a folder called the inbox (unless certain email is filtered). After years of handling e-mails, I didn’t know that these emails could be archived and how good it feels to reach a zero inbox!

Basically the concept is this – you handle email more like you would handle regular mail. Think of your desk as your inbox. Would you open your mail at your desk, read the contents, take any necessary action, and then leave it on your desk forever? With emails, you can archive them when you are done with them. It will NOT delete them. You can still search for them, or go to “All Mail” and they are there. When I clear my emails from my inbox, I feel like I am clearing my head.

For most professionals, emails are tasks. By archiving it, you are marking it complete. And it feels good. It’s better than flagging to remind yourself later that you need to come back to an email (though flags can still be useful for other things). It is much, much, much better than opening e-mails and then marking them unread so that you will read them again later. Archiving emails helps to make emails feel good to handle rather than frustrating.

Try it!

Mailbox – An iPhone app

On my iPhone and iMac I use both gmail and Mailbox. For most tedious email related work and responses I use gmail and for quickly organizing my emails I use Mailbox. Mailbox is like the aspirin to my email headache. The iPhone version has beautiful, intuitive swipe gestures to not only archive emails, but to set emails to return later. What that means is that it hides your email from your inbox and brings it back at whatever time you choose or to the next time you switch devices. When it’s Friday night and you get a work email, you can swipe it to come back on Monday morning when you are back at work. Beautiful.

Here’s two different ways you archive with Mailbox –

IMG_84751) From the inbox, make a short swipe to the right to archive. (This is the default swipe and it can be changed)

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2) With an email opened, hit the check mark in the upper right hand corner to archive that e-mail.

 

Archiving in Gmail (Web)

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.08.52 AM1) From the inbox, you can check mark emails and hit the button that looks like a box with a down arrow to archive them.

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2) When an email is opened, you can archive it by pressing the button with a box with a down arrow.

Archiving in Gmail (iPhone App)

On the Gmail app on the iPhone there are several ways to archive e-mails.

IMG_84721) From the inbox, swipe left across an e-mail. You’ll see a red archive button pop up. Press that button and the e-mail will be archived.

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2) From the inbox, check any e-mails you’d like to archive from the left side of the message. Then push the button that looks like a box with a down arrow and they will all be archived.

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3)From an open email, push the button on the top that looks like a box with a down arrow. The opened email will be archived.