Are you the type to try and out-score your friends on Foursquare? (You do know there's no real prize for that, right?) Then you're probably going to get a lot out of The Email Game. It's a GMail app and Google Chrome browser extension that turns efficient inbox management into a game, scoring you points for quick replies and an empty inbox.
The Optimized Email Workflow For Inbox Zero instructs us that in order to achieve email nirvana, we'll need to change our inbox habits. Things like addressing emails quickly and keeping your unread count low are good ways to maintain a healthy relationship with digital communication.
But email efficiency requires a lot of effort. And, just like going to the gym, we're rarely motivated to make it happen.
Thankfully, Lifehacker's pointed out The Email Game. If you use GMail or Google Apps to access your inbox, The Email Game turns checking your email into a timed rewards system.
All you need to to to use it is hit up emailga.me and log in with your GMail or Google Apps account. From there, The Email Game presents each message in your inbox, one at a time, giving you a short list of options for how to handle it.
Click "delete" or "archive" quickly and add mega points to your in-game scoreboard, displayed as a graphic on-screen. Select "skip" and you lose points; the email stays in your inbox. If you decide a message is worthy of a reply, The Email Game gives you a three-minute timer to tackle a proper response. With the tempting allure of virtual points dangling over your inbox, you'll have the motivation you need to get it cleared out in no time.
Now if only we could find a way to exchange miles on the treadmill for virtual points. The Gym Game, anyone?