Inbox Victory: photos of people who've emptied their inboxes

The Inbox Victory page collects photos of people pointing at their empty email inboxes, grinning madly before the next flood of emails pours in. I try very hard to be an inbox zero guy, but in practice I always end up with a couple hangovers in there -- usually related to scheduling meetings or calls with people, which is probably the most logistically difficult thing to do in my life.

Have you ever been in the situation where you spend days trying answer all of your email only to accomplish your goal and have no one to share in your victory? All you want is a high five, a pat on the back, and a “job well done soldier!”, and yet most likely all you are left with is an empty room and a cold cup of coffee. Inbox Victory is an initiative that says, “you deserve that high five!” And here is how you get it:

1) Get your email inbox down to zero. People have various methods for dealing with their email so ‘inbox 0′ is going to mean different things to different people. A basic rule of thumb, however, is getting it to a point where no further action can be taken.

2) Open up your webcam software and take a screenshot of yourself profiling in front of your defeated foe (See examples below)...

Link (via Kottke)


  1. i sit me or is that inbox full of stuff? and marking everything as “read” (tick all, mark read) doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, does it? now deleting (or selectively archiving) those 1051+ emails, now that’s an accomplishment. and one i’m still failing to this day :(

  2. The only proper way to congratulate someone on emptying their inbox is to send them an email. Or several.

  3. Same people who had their parents stand around the potty and clap and do a little dance when the kid made a boom-boom.

  4. #3 Pepsi Max2k, for most Gmail users, marking everything as “read” is equivalent to emptying the inbox.

    #6 Trust me, that’s an accomplishment.

    I’ve been at inbox zero for years, so I no longer think of it as unusual. I’m merciless about marking everything as read, and only reading things that look interesting or important. Same with feeds.

  5. What’s the point, really? My mail program doesn’t care if I read anything or not. It all searches the same.

  6. Email has just gotten so way out of hand. It’s even worse if you have clients. I wound up getting an email backup account so every six months or so I can purge my live email over to the backup as I need to retain emails for years from clients. Sure wish I could just zap them all sometimes (I mean the emails, not the clients).

  7. Yeah… keeping up with email isn’t a problem since I set all my email addresses to filter through Gmail… went from 1000-1500 spams per day to maybe 10 a week getting through, which are usually in russian and really easy to spot.

    Now, if I were to get my unrated tracks on itunes down to 0, that I might consider worthy of some kind of applause from someone, somewhere…

  8. The only way I try keep on top of all the emails is to be brutal; just junk stuff that looks like it is…still end up wasting half my morning going through a long trail of emails though.

  9. Hey, it’s our very own Make: Blog/Craft: Blog Becky Stern in the photo. Yay, email victory, Becky! W00t!

  10. Yeah – how come GMail can’t figure out that I don’t want to read the Russian spam?

  11. Why is it so important to have a zero inbox? I have about 15,000 emails in my inbox, not on Gmail obviously, but it’s good to store valuable information. You can also create folders and stash emails selectively via filters.

  12. My gmail currently has 13,865 unread emails. I try not to let them stay unread for more than a year:)

  13. Wow, this is great. Two weekends ago I spent 14 hours clearing out 2,300 inbox messages and got to 40. I need to switch gmail to POP so I can download my messages when I’m on the road.

  14. #9 posted by WebsiteWavesBlog:

    Email has just gotten so way out of hand. It’s even worse if you have clients.

    What I hate is dealing with clients who run Windows. Every time I send out emails from my Mac to a bunch of Windows-using clients, I start getting spam! It’s from everyone who unknowingly has a Windows machine infested with spyware that collects all their email contacts and sends them out for spammers to use. When I exchange email with udder Mac users, I never see an influx of spam as a result.

    I’ve actually begun adding a hidden surcharge whenever I work with people who use Windows. It’s just more of a pain in the ass in general. I find out what they use before I even start on the proposals. You use a Mac or Ubuntu, etc.? No extra charge.

  15. I don’t think her inbox was empty she just had zero unread messages… (Gmail Tip, search for is:unread and then mark all as read)

  16. I’ve been online for 10+ years. I have four e-mail addresses. I’ve never used any spam filters. I get less than ten pieces of spam per day. Am I doing the internet wrong?

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