As I continue to help my Inbox Bootcamp clients, I’m amazed at how much our inboxes reveal about us.

During each Inbox Bootcamp session, I ask my clients if they’re willing to do a screenshare with me. I find that seeing someone’s screen helps me to quickly see patterns (which lets me know very quickly where I can help them best).

90% of people say ‘yes’ without hesitation. And so, with a hit of a button (all controlled on their end), I get to see their inbox on their screen.

(For those 10% of clients who don’t feel comfortable sharing their screen, I really respect their decision! I’ve found that I can still work effectively with them regardless.)

When I do get to see someone’s screen. I feel incredibly privileged. Every time, without fail, my heart skips a beat, as I realise I’m being invited into a private world.

Rarely do we share our inboxes with others, right? It’s something that’s usually reserved for our eyes only (or for people who we trust deeply).

So when one of my client says ok to me looking at their inbox, I feel like I’m being given a glimpse into a world that few people see. I reassure them that everything I see is 100% confidential and that I’m very trustworthy.

What our inboxes reveal about us

Email can reveal a lot about who we are — how we spend time, which relationships we value, what our intentions are. For example, your subscriptions give a glimpse into your interests. I’ve learned you can get insights into others very quickly by looking at their inbox!

To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to the juicy stuff, anyway. For the most part, I skim over names and subject titles. I’m more interested in systems and processes (yes, geeky, I know).

I’m less interested in “who’s sending you what”, and more interested in your relationship to it. How does that type of email make you feel? (Like that subscription — you say you always intend to read it, but you never have time). How would you ideally like to deal with it? (We look at your different options — unsubscribe, find time in your calendar to savour the good stuff so it doesn’t feel like a chore, etc). How can we make that easy for you, now and in the future? (Let’s get a clear game plan!)

At the end of the session, when we shut down the screenshare, I often feel a pang of sadness. It feels like I’ve built a relationship with it during that short time, and now it’s time to say goodbye.