Become an Inbox Hero 101

, Graduate Student, Harvard Design School

Description: A non-technical and basic introduction to email management strategies - the most important and powerful levers to manage email.

Why “Become an Inbox Hero”?

Because it takes courage to act where others merely plan, to respect others' time as much as your own, and to focus where others dilute.

1 > Inbox Hero is a play on Merlin Mann’s famous and pioneering Inbox Zero movement. Merlin’s techniques and strategies are amazing but the problem is more often one of personal motivation and attitude instead of knowledge and technical capacity. Finally, our Inboxes have become the terminals, and in some cases, holders of emotional pain & elation, bills & pills, and work & procrastination. This is a field-guide for the intrepid, those who choose to prioritize, to save time, and to take control of their digital lives.

2 > Strategies and methods Adopt power strategies to save time, manage communication channel overload, and crush ineffective habits and threads (GTD, 99Percent, Inbox Zero etc.). Understand various cultures of email etiquette and communication. Practice solving email and communication problems by avoiding email: choosing context and situation specific communication channels.

3 > Practice Finally, turn theory into habit and action as we explore case studies, craft - and vanquish - email, and stay (communication) fit.

Learners will walk away with a better understanding of how email works (and fails) and how best to leverage existing resources and tools to ... give the gift of time.

With your help this will be a high-energy, collaborative, and entertaining experience!

Note: Please bring laptops. Starbucks just around the corner. * Image from Nerd Merit Badges @nerdmeritbadges
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Hugo Van Vuuren

Graduate Student, Harvard Design School
Graduate student at the Harvard School of Design, Fellow at The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and co-creator of Protocol; a communication preference signaling experiment. Previously emailed on 4 continents (and from many accounts) whilst working with big companies (lots of secretarial staff who love emailing from Outlook Express) and nimble startups (lots of gen y who love to email from phone and elaborate inboxes).
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