I like to keep my email inbox empty, both at home and at the office.  In this series I will discuss the tools and tricks I use to keep my inbox so that only emails that I need to reply to are in it.

Gmail alone is a great email service.  You can set up filters to automatically tag emails to help you find them later.  Also because it is by Google, the master search engine, searching archived emails using keywords works really well too.  If I have archived an email I am almost always able to find it again after using the built in search.

Sometimes I get an email that I want to look at again at a later date.  It could be directions to an event I am attending or a shipping notice for a package that I want to track.  In the past I would have kept these in my inbox to refer back to, but this can quickly clutter my inbox if I have several emails that I'm following and I may not need to refer to some of them right away.  This is where Boomerang comes in handy. 

Using Boomerang for Gmail I can have an email taken out of my inbox and then returned to my inbox on a date and time that I specify.  When it returns to my inbox it will be at the top so I will be sure not to miss it.  The service is free if you use it less than 10 times per month.  There is a personal plan for $4.99/month and professional for $14.99/month.  Initially I was able to get away with the free plan, but as I became accustomed to using it, I found myself using it more and more until it just made sense to get the personal plan.

This is just one of the three tools I use to keep my inbox virtually empty.  Stay tuned for part 2 and 3.

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