Zero Inbox or I don't understand Whittle Down

I’d like to set up a (almost) zero inbox goal.

Namely, every day before fetching new e-mails, I’d like to count the number of unread mails and if it is larger than N, I derail. Note that at the moment it is smaller than N, so it’s not that I’d like to reduce a huge backlog of unread mails. I just want to keep it below N every day.

Seems like Whittle Down would be the right goal, but, frankly, I just don’t understand how to set up such a scenario.

(Just to be clear: I don’t use GMail)

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I think I agree that a Whittle Down goal should work for this. If you give N as “today’s value” you’ll get a flat red line at N that you have to stay under. You can then edit that initial datapoint of N to be your actual current number of messages.

Is that making sense?