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If there is one thing that is guaranteed to make me fume with anger it is vendors mucking about with my email.

I think that ordinary home users should use Office 365 and Microsoft email services. Outlook.com offers you a free mail account with an *@outlook.com address. You can also use it with other addresses but that is painful at the moment.

Microsoft has realised that most users are too lazy and careless to ever read or manage their email. To help this hapless multitude they invent features to bring things to their attention (I am sure that they will soon start selling this access).

The first of these schemes was called Clutter. The new one is called Focused Inbox.

For the avoidance of any doubt there is only one correct way to manage emails in your inbox (GTD).

  1. Have the newest emails at the top
    • (“Conversation view” is an abomination – emails chains are not conversations and should be discouraged)
  2. Read the email and
    • delete it if possible
    • unsubscribe if it is a mailing list and you don’t want it any more
    • file it in a sub-folder if there is no action for you (you only need one sub-folder because Search is now so good – mine is called Reference)
  3. Having exhausted other options you actually have to do something, either
    1. Do it and file the email
    2. File the email in a folder called @action now and do it later

This works perfectly on the desktop or on a mobile phone. No Focused Inbox, No Conversation View. Inbox Zero!

Here is the link to tell you how to turn off Focused Inbox.

Here is how to turn it off in various clients,

  • Outlook 2016 Desktop (on View tab)
  • Outlook.com website (Settings > Display Settings > Focused Inbox)
  • Windows 10 Mail application (Settings > Reading)