Monitoring my inbox health?

Inbox Health

I have a problem that’s probably not very uncommon: I get a lot of work email. I’ve recently realised the # of emails in my inbox is quite a strong indicator of my mental health. I’m hoping someone can help me use shortcuts or some other way to help me keep an eye on this key metric.

My preferred way of working is: block 20-30mins out of my mid-morning to triage my inbox. Everything that’s actionable gets captured in a to-do list tracker, and archived. End the session with an inbox as close to zero as possible, so I can largely ignore my inbox for the rest of the day.

If something happens that I don’t get to regularly triage my email (E.g. I’m out sick for a few days) then the number of emails climbs into the 100s pretty quickly, which gets harder to triage completely, which means I’m less inclined to tackle my inbox, and the problem spirals until I’m overwhelmed by an inbox that I’m reluctant to look at.

I want to record the number of emails in my inbox on a daily basis so I can chart it, and use that chart to encourage myself to steadily trend the number down.


  • has anyone figured out a way to pull the number of emails in a mailbox (either with shortcuts on iOS or Mac ) automatically?
  • If I can’t do it automatically, I could just set a reminder for myself to input the number once a day. I’m thinking of just building a database in Notion to track this but It’s hard to chart from Notion directly. Is this something I’d be better off looking into Charty or Data Jar for, or something like that?

I feel like I clearly can’t be the first one to want to monitor inbox count as daily metric for productivity but haven’t seen any shortcuts or systems for doing this - ideas much appreciated!

This depends on where’s your Mail app in the Home Screen, but maybe it will inspire you to something better:

This is what it captures in my iPad:

I’ve done this before - making a widget to show the number of daily emails for the past four weeks using Swiftbar and Scriptable - so I’ve put the code on Github for you and anyone who might find it useful: