Entering your email at the inbox is a bad idea

Why this is and what you can do to avoid having to do it

The inbox of your email client is by its very nature a collection of unvetted and potentially unsolicited emails, at the very best it is a todo item waiting to happen.

Going through your inbox is obviously important, even if you have rules in place to move certain mail into certain folders, you still need to process your inbox for new mail, but should you have to process your inbox each time you enter your email? Of course you shouldn't.

If I go into GMail because I want to dig out an old email or respond to something specifically I do not need to see my inbox, it is a time sink and an extra stress and ultimately a waste of time.

Unfortunately out of the box pretty much every mail client I have ever used starts at the inbox, luckily there is a hack for GMail that you can use to not have your inbox as the entry point to your email.

It comes via Merlin Mann who talked about it on the Mac Power Users podcast.

  1. Create a label in GMail called null
  2. Create a bookmark to the location of the null label with the keyword of mail

Now if you type mail into your address bar you should be taken to an empty gmail, perfect for doing quick searches or jumping into another folder without having to process anything.

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