Managing Your Email Inbox

We all know how quickly our email inbox can become overwhelming. It starts with a few emails you just don’t feel comfortable deleting yet, and then it grows and grows, and then you come back from vacation and it’s completely unmanageable. There are a few things you can do, however, to get control of your email before it controls you.

Unsubscribe

It’s so easy to miss a little checkbox subscribing you to a company’s email when you are purchasing something online, or maybe at the time you do think you want those emails. After a few months though, you haven’t opened the email from that company in a very long time. They continue to clutter your inbox and they never get read. It’s time to clear the clutter and unsubscribe to a majority of the emails you are receiving.

Luckily there are a few easy ways to do this. Using a service like unroll.me is a great way to clear out the mess super easily. It will give you 2 options when you use the service. You can unsubscribe completely, or you can see a summary of all the newsletters you still want to glance at emailed to you once a day. For the companies you are still on the fence about, you can be sure you won’t miss an important sale, but you can still benefit from having them all in one place instead of throughout your inbox.

Delete Spam

Once you have unsubscribed from the messages you no longer want to receive, the next step is to delete all of those messages that are still lingering in your inbox. If you are completely buried under thousands of messages, you can do a quick search for the company name and delete all the messages from that particular company at the same time.

Move Messages to Folders

I like to create folders for different types of emails I receive. For example, if I need to take action on an item within an email, I will move it to a “to do” folder. Unless that action takes less than 2 minutes to accomplish. In that situation, I will simply do the task and delete the email once it is done. If I receive a coupon that I want to use, I will move it to a “coupons” folder. I also create a “keep” folder for emails that need to be saved for whatever reason. Within the “keep” section I will create subfolders like “receipts” or a client’s name. Separating out the emails into folders can help you stay organized, and make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Just try not to ignore the “to do” folder.

Create Rules

Once your inbox is cleaned up, you can create rules for certain emails to help automate keeping your inbox clean. You can move emails from a specific sender to a folder automatically or any messages that contain the words “coupon” to the coupon folder. Along with these rules, make sure you set up an out of office message when you will be away from your email. This can help some people know not to send you messages while you are gone, so you don’t come back to an overflowing inbox. Let your email program do the organizing for you, and it will just keep getting easier as you establish new rules.

Your email account should not be a file repository. It is a communication program. Once something has been completed or communicated you should feel fine about getting rid of the messages.