48,762 is a completely unacceptable number

As an "inbox zero" guy (one who strives to keep his email's inbox empty or as close to empty as possible), you can't imagine how upsetting this particular phone is to me. 

It's real, too. This iPhone belongs to someone I know. I took this photograph.  

Just knowing that this number exists in the world (and is probably larger) is distressing to me. 

If you're looking to gain some control over your own inbox, may I recommend using a mail app like Inbox, which allows you to reschedule your email to a more convenient and appropriate time for you. 

For example:

  • I schedule all tax related information, invoices, and digital receipts to return to my inbox on February 1 of each year.
  • I schedule tickets for shows and events to return to my inbox on the actual date of the show.
  • I schedule information pertaining to workshops, speeches, and meetings (agendas, directions, contact info) to return to my inbox at the time and date of the actual meeting or workshop. 
  • I'll even reschedule email received during the morning or afternoon to the evening or the next day if that is when I plan to respond to it.

All done with the simple swipe of a thumb.  

Amongst the many rescheduling choices offered by the app (Tomorrow, Later this week, This weekend, Next week, a specific time and date) is "Someday," which also allows me reschedule a complimentary email to hit my inbox a second time.

A reader writes to me to compliment me on a book. A former student writes to me thanking me for inspiring her. A friend sends an unexpected email with words of kindness and generosity.   

I reschedule it for "Someday," and surprise and joy get a second visit. A second shot of the brain's four "feel good" chemicals: endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine.


Inbox has many other fantastic features that I routinely use, but the ability to reschedule your email to arrive at a time that fits your schedule is the feature I use most often.

It keeps things manageable. Prevents me from missing or forgetting about an email. Keeps my mind uncluttered. It allows me to operate at "inbox zero" or close to it every day. 

I'm not saying that your goal should be inbox zero. I'm merely implying that you will be a far better human being if you are an inbox zero devotee like me.