Reconnecting with inbox zero, Gmail style

When my inbox gets clogged with innumerable messages all clamoring for my attention, I get a little overwhelmed. The problem is that separating signal from noise when the message pile is hundreds deep can be a daunting task.

The white-robed figure that sits atop my left shoulder tells me that I am a good person, but the small snappy dresser standing on my right shoulder -- the guy in the neat, red suit -- assures me that I'm a failure if I don't read and reply to them all.

So, tonight, just a few moments ago, I compromised. I glanced at all the messages in my Gmail accounts and read all the unread ones. Then, I selected all the items in my inbox and archived them all.

Now, if you have more than one screenful of email messages in Gmail, a handy link appears beneath the usual controls that allows you to select all messages meeting the criteria of your search, assuming you've done any search at all. In my case, that was all messages in my inbox.

The next part was easy, click Archive and the stress just seems to melt away.