Time Lords Manual: Inbox Zero

The Time Lords Manual is a series of 1-minute reads on how to become a master of your time. (You can read the Time Lords Manifesto here).

There’s a reason the first communication platform Amy + Andrew worked on was email: that’s where the bulk of meetings are set and professional communications exchanged.

Even with an AI assistant minimizing back-and-forth, a busy workload can make for a flooded inbox. A flooded inbox means near infinite possibilities for distractions, and the commensurate wasted minutes and hours. The Inbox Zero method, developed by speaker Merlin Mann, combats inbox bloat.

Here’s our version of Mann’s concept to put into practice:


Designate specific daily times to attack your inbox (i.e. 10:30a, 1:30p, 4:30p).  


Immediately delete all meaningless emails. 


Forward emails not within your purview. Especially if someone asks to meet up for coffee, send it on over to Amy and get it out of your hands. 


If your response requires less than 60 seconds, get it out of the way.

Set Aside

Should your response require more than 60 seconds, drag it to a folder (or label it) and schedule time to write your follow up (Amy can set reminders, forward her the email and say something like, “Amy, send invite for tomorrow morning 8 a.m. and call it ‘New Sales Slides’ please.” She’ll even include the email text in the notes field).


Don’t return to your inbox until your designated time.

As we know from our research, even seemingly short emails feast on precious minutes. Inbox Zero helps keep you focused and your inbox organized.

Become a Time Lord here. Bonus: watch Mann debut the Inbox Zero concept all the way back in 2007 at a Google TechTalk (it’s a bit longer than 1 minute).