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5 Gmail Filters to Get You to Inbox Zero

5 Gmail Filters to Get You to Inbox Zero

The elusive Inbox Zero. It’s the moment when you have all of your “inputs” somewhat dealt with and the the slate is clear for you to concentrate on what is truly important. Some people think that it’s simply getting your entire email inbox to no emails. If that is the case, I could do that pretty easily by selecting all email and trashing it.

That’s not necessarily the point.

Inbox Zero is a state where we have our decks cleared, have the right things in the right places, and we can start to work on what is important. But, we can use some hacks to get us to this state a little bit easier everyday.

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Use the 5 Gmail filters to help clear out your inbox, achieve Inbox Zero, and free up the time and space to get done what really matters.

  1. The “you email me too much and you are going to get ignored” filter.This is one of my favorite filters that I have ever used and by far the one that gets the most use. Basically, if you get too much email from someone and you don’t want to see it in your inbox day-in and day-out, add the sender to the “From:” field in the filter.
      Using OR statements to combine email addresses
        Archiving and labeling email

        Depending on how much you really don’t want to see this person’s emails, you can either trash the email immediately (essentially turning this filter into a blacklist), or be a little more humane and give the email a “Review” label for later review.

        As more and more people keep sending you more and more email that you don’t want to see, you can simply add them to the “From:” field in the filter preceded by an OR operator.

      • The newsletter review filterSome people like getting a bunch of newsletters; really, they all aren’t that bad. One thing that I can’t stand is diving into a some unprocessed emails and seeing a newsletter that seems interesting. 30 minutes later after I have read it and probably clicked through to watch some video or comment somewhere else I wonder where time has gone.

        It doesn’t have to be this way. One way to clear out a bunch of these emails is to search the content of the email for “unsubscribe here OR unsubscribe”. Since it’s “unlawful” for individuals and companies to send email that you signed up for without an unsubscribe link, chances are you are going to catch most if not all of these newsletter emails this way. After you find these emails check Skip the inbox (Archive it) and choose which label you want to give it (I go with something like Read/Review). Now you can review these newsletters on your own time.

          Search for unsubscribe here OR unsubscribe

        • The social reviewIn the same vein as the last filter, if you get a lot of email notifications for social networks and you still want to receive and review them, you can set up a filter with a subject search of all of the social networks you are involved with. For instance you could say “facebook OR twitter OR linkedin OR google+ OR”, you get the idea.

          You can then Archive these and give them a label. Sometimes, a filter like this can be overzealous, like if you are waiting on an email with the subject of “Facebook wants to buy your company for a billion dollars”. But, as long as you review this label every couple of days you won’t lose anything important.

        • Get notified fastAll of these filters are great, but what if you are waiting for a specific email from someone and you don’t want to keep checking your inbox every 30 seconds? Well, then you can set up what I like to call “the poor man’s AwayFind”. All you need is a cell phone for this.

          Set a filter with the To: field from the email address you are waiting on a message from. Then, set the search to foward to a different address. Instead of forwarding to another email address, you are going to set up an forward address to your phone number. Follow this format of address for your carrier.

            Add a forwarding address
              Forward the important email to your phone

              I’m with Verizon, so my address is forwarded to 1234567890@vtext.com (couldn’t get the MMS address work). Gmail will send you a confirmation code, confirm the email address, and boom: you now get text notifications of any sender you deem as important.

            • Set yourself up to keep projects aliveOne of the best things that I have learned from GTD is to keep a “waiting for” list. It allows me to keep track of everything that I have outside of myself pending to be done.

              I have an @Waiting label in Gmail that I use all the time. Anything that I need to follow up on gets this label. I move a lot of email here manually, but you can set up a filter that can apply this label automatically when you send an email.

              Create an email with the From: filled out as your email address and the content of the email searching for something like “_wf_” (without the quotes). Then assign this message an @Waiting label. When you send an email to someone that you want to track it as something you are waiting on, after your signature simply type “_wf_”. After it sends it will be caught by your @Waiting label for further follow up.

              Waiting for filter will keep your projects alive

              Getting to Inbox Zero isn’t as hard as you think. Use these Gmail filters to set up your system so you can concentrate more on important work rather than checking your inbox.

              (Photo credit: Mailslot via Shutterstock)

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              How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

              How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain

              How often do you think about your brain? Do you ever stop to marvel at its incredible power and supreme cleverness? Or at least check in and give it a little spring clean and a recharge it from time to time?

              If you’re like the majority, then your answer will likely be “no”.

              Astoundingly, we only use around 10% of our brains yet we seldom think to invest in a little training every now and then.

              For a long time, scientists believed that we were stuck with the brain we were born with! Luckily for us, that hypothesis has gone out the window!

              Enter neuroplasticity – a new theory that has proven one very incredible fact: Our brains can change.

              This means, if you’re not very intelligent in one area – that’s OK! You have the option to literally ‘change that area of your brain’ through some little trainings.

              Your brain is a muscle. You need to exercise it regularly.

              The exciting thing is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to increase your brain capacity. All you need to do is invest some time to regularly train your brain.

              So how to increase brain power?

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              Here are 10 simple ways to increase your brain power and improve your intelligence!

              1. Do something new

              When you experience something ‘new’, that actually ‘stimulate’ your brain!

              Don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same old things – the only way to change the structure of your brain is to do something new. This creates new neural pathways, increasing your intelligence level.

              You could take a new route to work, try a new recipe for dinner, or even a new form of exercise – mix them up!

              2. Ditch the GPS

              Gone are the days of map reading! Sat Nav may have made our lives easier, it has also made our brains lazier and less efficient at the same time!

              Go back to the old school and use a map to navigate every now and then. This exercises the part of your brain responsible for understanding spatial relationships.

              3. Ban the calculator

              Remember back at school when we were taught to use our brains to do simple sums like times tables? It’s incredible how we now rely on devices like smart-phones and laptops to calculate really simple equations.

              Resist the urge to work things out using an external device and use the device you were born with – your brain!

              4. Be curious

              Instead of taking everything at face value, get into the habit of questioning everyday things/products, services that you come into contact with.

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              By being ‘curious’ and questioning everything, you force your brain to innovate and create new ideas.

              Curiosity may have killed that cat but it created super important things like electricity and computers!

              5. Think positive

              Stress and anxiety kill existing brain neurons and also stop new neurons from being created.

              Research has shown that positive thinking, especially in the future tense, speeds up the creation of cells and dramatically reduces stress and anxiety.

              Try and get a handle on negative thoughts and make an effort to replace them with positive ones.

              Not sure how to do it? Take a look at this article:

              How to Turn Off Negative Thoughts in Your Mind

              6. Exercise regularly

              It’s been proven that regular exercise helps to increase brain function and enhances neurogenesis. This means that every time you exercise, you are creating new brain cells!

              Here’re 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise, get off the couch and get moving!

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              Your brain will thank you for it.

              7. Train your memory

              How often do you hear people say “I wish I had a better memory!’ Yet no-one does anything about this!

              If you discipline yourself to memorize phone numbers and other important numbers (passport, credit card, insurance, driving license) you will start to see a marked improvement in your memory.

              8. Eat healthy

              Our diets have a HUGE impact on brain function. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen that we consumed – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff! (i.e. fresh fruit and veg & plenty of OMEGA 3 oils found in oily fish)

              Here’re more healthy foods that will boost your brain power:

              10 Healthy Foods That Make You Smarter

              9. Read a book

              Reading relieves tension and stress, which is brain-cell killers because it’s a form of escapism.

              Research has also shown that using your imagination is a great way to train your brain because you force your mind to ‘picture’ what you are imagining. Reading is a great way to trigger your imagination!

              Reading every day helps your thinking and imagination, learn more about it here:

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              10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

              10. Get enough sleep

              Sleep is like a mini detox for the brain. This is when your body regenerates cells and removes all the toxins that have built up during the day.

              Get to bed between the hours of 9pm and midnight to benefit from the most effective hours of sleep!

              If you have difficulty sleeping, you should read this guide:

              The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              An intelligent brain comes from hard work

              If you do take my suggestion and do these things consistently, you’ll soon realize your brain is sharper and you can remember more stuff.

              You don’t need to do everything all at once, pick one to two and start making them your daily habit.

              Intelligence comes from hard work. Make effort to train your brain and you’ll become smarter.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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