On a daily basis, people wade their way through an ocean of electronic messages but CBC's technology columnist, Jesse Hirsh says, that doesn't have to be an uphill battle. 

It is possible to reach the ever-elusive "inbox zero." 

"It's kind of a state of mind. It's about having no emails in your inbox, which lends itself perhaps to feeling like you're on top of the information overload," Hirsh said. 

Hirsh points to a new app called Zero that takes all emails and turns them into summary cards that appear as a notification on your mobile device. The notification requires an action to be taken, whether it is putting the message in a folder, archiving the email, or starring it to be saved for action at a later time. 

"It nurtures a practice in which you're actually processing the messages, rather than just allowing them to sit there and fester. The idea is that it means that you're not only more responsive but you've got less waiting for your attention and therefore it allows you to get to that desirous 'inbox zero,'" he said. 

Hirsh recommends taking a day to de-clutter and get your inbox down to a clean slate to start with. The alternative is declaring what he calls "email bankruptcy" and deleting the messages without sorting them, letting the pieces fall where they may. 

Hirsh said there are other apps available to people desperate to empty their emails, such as Dispatch, Triage and Boxer

There are also apps that use software to sort the proverbial haystack independently but require paying monthly fees, such as Mailstrom and IQtell


You can follow Jesse on Twitter, @jessehirsh or find out more at his website