Total Reading Time: 4 minutes.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the very best content from my course, Effortless Email.
This project took over six months to complete. I work on a lot of different ideas and projects. Here on the site is where I talk about these projects and my learnings, along with the lifestyle I’ve designed for myself.
I wasn’t always a Gmail ninja. In fact, I thought I’d be just fine sifting through my Hotmail searching for that funny viral video my friend sent me, amongst all the “male enhancement” spam emails.
For years I was drowning in my inbox, praying that email would become obsolete and I’d never have to look at or respond to another email again.
Well, that day hasn’t come (yet), and we live in a world where electronic-mail is still the primary way people contact one another.
If you’re stressed, frustrated, or even just annoyed with email and all the spam in your inbox—trust me, I understand.
Or perhaps, you simply aren’t utilizing the full power and potential of your email account, spending hours per day checking your email and still letting the important ones fall through the cracks.
During my time at Google and 3M, I started to realize that my individual success as an employee, and now a solopreneur, depended heavily on my ability to communicate with others like a professional.
My work email accounts were flooded with emails that all needed a response or personal attention.
My personal email was also flooded with spam and all those annoying notification emails. It seems that no matter how many times we uncheck that little box that says “Yes, I would like to receive all your special ‘dealios’ and I want 10 emails a day from you!” we still keep receiving them, don’t we?
Eventually, I became obsessed with email. I read every single book, article, magazine, and strategy by all of the top gurus out there.
I talked to other Googler’s that were considered “Gmail Ninjas” and asked them to show me their inboxes. I picked their brains, I implemented new strategies, and eventually, I created my own.
Now, I’m here as a solopreneur today, ready to share my strategy with you.

Create an Automated Inbox

Step 1: Create an Action/To-Do Label

  1. Click/choose Create new label from the left-hand side menu
  2. Name it: Action, To Do, @, or any name you choose

Step 2: Ultimate Priority Inbox – Custom Set Up

  1. Click the Gear (Settings) icon in the upper-right corner
  2. Choose the Inbox menu
    1. Inbox type: Priority Inbox
    2. Select Inbox Sections:

Section #1: Important (not Important and unread)

Section #2: All Starred

Section #3: “Action” or “To Do” section (Action label created in previous step for this section)

Section #4: Everything else

Step 3: Enable Keyboard Shortcuts (and learn them)

  1. Click Gear (Settings) icon in the upper-right corner
  2. Under General Settings
  3. Select: Keyboard shortcuts on

*These are the shortcuts you must know: 




Compose c Compose a new message
Archive e Archive your conversation from any view
Reply r Replies to the message sender
Reply all a Replies to all
Forward f Forwards the message
Delete # Deletes the message


Step 4: Prevent Annoying Emails and Spam

For all future product/service signups or registrations that ask for an email address, use:

So for example, if my email was, I would use:

Props to the folks that picked up on the Arrested Development reference. For your filter, you can use any word you like, and you can do this as many times as you want with different words.
I’ve found that this trick works the majority of the time, but on occasion, the signup form will tell you to use a “valid email address”.
After you’ve signed up:

  • Create a filter for any emails sent to that address to skip the inbox
  • Be sure to check the emails in that label/folder for a confirmation email, in case it’s required in order to activate service.
  • Filter the new unnecessary emails right away as they arrive in your inbox

Any questions at all—comment on this post directly or reach out through the contact page.