Long before ‘Inbox Zero’ became the most fashionable email workflow on the planet, a few Gmail fans like Sabya, Rohit and I followed a not so chic but equally effective and geeky workflow using ‘Stars’.
This is how it works…
- We mostly live in the Inbox
- Make sure we are unread zero – we read all emails that come in or we ‘mark as read’ the ones we don’t have to read. (We love Gmail’s ‘Mark all as read’ option)
- After reading an email, if we think we have to get back to it, at a later time, we star it.
- Change the Gmail inbox format to show all the starred emails on top. So when we don’t have unread emails, this is the list we stare at.
- Once we have acted on the email, we unstar it and rejoice at the sight of it being removed from the starred list.
- Nirvana! Go out to take fresh air.
Basically we create a to-do list out of the emails in the inbox by starring the ones we have to act on; instead of archiving all the emails that we don’t have to act on (duh). Archive has no value for us. And we are lazy to clean our inbox. We aim for the stars.
Recently CloudMagic did us a huge favor – it allowed us to customize the actions on the notification. Now I can switch that damn Archive button to Star, making the notification actions Delete, Mark as read and Star on my Android. Rohit has ‘Mark as read’ and ‘Star’ on his iPhone. Star has also found it’s place in the Apple Watch notification.
It doesn’t end here.
Here, at work, we get 2 emails everyday with the iOS and Android ratings and reviews for everyone to read. As they are too long to go through, I don’t read them, first thing in the morning. Instead, I star them and then mark them as read to then go on to look for more important emails. And then there are those emails that I star from the notifications. I have to now make sure to mark them as read as soon as I get to the inbox. What a bummer! But wait a minute…
CloudMagic just amazed me with another setting that would make my life even better. I can now star an email and mark it as read in one shot. Makes a lot of sense. A starred email means I have read it and is part of my to-do list. More than the notification customization, this is my personal favorite.
If you are a CloudMagic user who follows the Starred email workflow like me, you are lucky. These settings are going to make your life better. CloudMagic is the only email app that has shown love to people like us when all the others are busy making Inbox Zero users happy. If you are a Star user who is still not on CloudMagic, now would be a great time as things here are really getting interesting.
Keep reaching for the stars.