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In this lesson, I talk about taking the ideas of decluttering into your email inbox, computer desktop clutter, browser tab clutter, and even social media inboxes. Let’s get digitally minimalist!

In this lesson, I show how to:

For email inboxes, the rules are:

  1. Process one email at a time, top to bottom, not skipping or delaying decisions on any email.
  2. Reply and archive if you can do it in a minute or two.
  3. For tasks or reminders to do later, use your todo list or calendar.
  4. For longer replies, put them on the todo list and use your starred, flagged or saved folder to get them out of the inbox.
  5. Ruthlessly unsubscribe from newsletters and promotional emails so they don’t keep cluttering up your inbox.

By the end of a session like this, your inbox will be empty! If you have a lot of emails in your inbox, you can process it in chunks until you’re done, but it could take awhile.

For desktop clutter:

  1. Set up folders in your documents folder for Inbox, Action, Later, and Archive.
  2. Sort all your desktop files into these folders. Should only take a few minutes.
  3. Put reminders in your todo list or calendar for the Action and Later folder items.
  4. Save new files in Inbox and process the inbox items into the other folders daily.

For browser tab clutter:

  1. Clear tabs by bookmarking them, adding them to your todo list, or saving them in a read-later program like Instapaper or Pocket.
  2. It’s OK to have a bunch of tabs open if you’re researching or working on something. But when you’re done for the moment, save them in one of the above places and close the tabs, so you can focus on the next thing.

I also talked about how you can process inboxes in social media the same way you process your email inbox — one item at a time, taking action on each one or noting what you need to do later on your todo list or calendar.