In this way, I can process related emails together — handle everything related to customers, then all email from customers, etc.
Note that many people use labels closer to folders — they place emails into the labels when they are done. This system uses labels while the emails are still in the inbox. Think of it as separating your inbox into a set of mini-inboxes that may be easier to handle. And because I use Superhuman, the “Split Inbox” feature is perfect for this.
Now that I have inbox piles to get to zero, I want to track separate streaks — how often do I get customer emails to zero, what about recruiting emails? The techniques for each pile are often very different. Improving my overall Inbox Zero streaks can now be broken down into subproblems — work on the pile-streaks, and the big one will take care of itself.
If you’d like to follow this same method, start by filling in your list of piles here:
Today's Row in Log
There are no rows in this table
Clear sample queries
Update email log
Customize the queries above (in grey) to match the structure of your inbox. When you’ve updated the queries, click Update email log to get the current inbox counts. The initial list above reflects my category system (you can read more in
), feel free to clear all queries and replace with your own.
One last step: click the Track? checkbox on any query that you want to be continuously monitored. Now that will be added to your daily log. Here’s a chart you can use for the min of each pile by day, look for queries that are consistently high!
💡 A few tips
Any Gmail query is fine ー go ahead and try it.
The full Gmail syntax will work. Here are some queries you might try: is:starred , filename:ics
This doc is connected to a test account, so feel free to write any query (see
, add a split inbox for every query above to avoid distraction while you process each pile.
An annoying thing about Gmail: Technically, Gmail applies labels just to individual messages, not threads. This little quirk means that new messages added to a thread you’ve already labeled will not automatically inherit that same label. I’ve created a Google script that takes care of this in the background. Message me on