I strive for Inbox Zero but am usually not there. I totally buy into David Allen’s GTD philosophy of “Mind Like Water”. An empty, processed inbox in which all next actions have been delegated, deferred to my projects list or simply done immediately (if < 2 min) is where I prefer to keep my head. In that state, I make better decisions about what to work on and can focus on “doing”.
The new Mailbox app enhances the processing phase of the GTD workflow. As you wake up to an inbox with 50 or so new emails as I do each day, Mailbox makes it very easy to archive, delay until later or reply.
The interesting part for me is the delay feature. You have to make a decision on every email you read and delay empowers you to control the context in which you want to deal with that email. Yesterday I received an email from a Vendor that had several contracts attached and was a page long. This type of email nags at me on some level if it sits in my inbox so I touched “delay until later” which will hide the email and show it again in 3 hours. In 3 hours I knew I’d be at work, most likely in front of my big monitor with headphones on ready to tackle an email like that which needs to be broken down into multiple actions, docs may need to be printed out, etc. This clarity enabled me to plow through other emails whereas with Apple Mail or other email clients these emails tended to pile up until I was a bit overwhelmed and put off by my inbox.
I hope you find some GTD power in Mailbox as I have. There’s a waiting list and it took me two weeks to actually get access to the app from initial download.