A Marie Kondo-Inspired System, But for the Hellscape of Your Inbox

Kelli María Korducki
2 min readNov 1, 2021
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

This probably won’t mean anything to a lot of you, but I set up my primary email account way back when Gmail was still in beta. You needed an invitation. For Gmail! That’s my roundabout way of explaining why I have 4,479 unread emails in my personal inbox. And why, until very recently, I had like 30,000 more. (We don’t need to talk about my other two accounts.)

Now, I don’t particularly care about getting to inbox zero. But I would like to feel less active terror, guilt, shame and so forth around all manner of digital correspondence. What I would like, really, is a system. One like Charlotte Bismuth’s.

Charlotte — a former assistant DA of Manhattan, current mom of school-aged kids, recent author of this book right here, and ongoing font of wisdom and humor—devised a brilliant approach to email management that I’m absolutely going to steal.

In a post published on Forge, she explains:

As soon as I receive a message, I decide whether or not it matters. It’s sort of a Marie Kondo “does it spark joy” moment, except it’s more like “does it spark responsibility?” If my better self knows that I need to do something about a message, it gets a star. If not… well… it doesn’t. The messages with stars get handled.

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Kelli María Korducki

Writer, editor. This is where I post about ideas, strategies, and the joys of making an NYC-viable living as a self-employed creative.