Are you ready to declutter your emails? Is that bold number of unread emails taunting you in your sleep? Read the quick tips below and sign up to access the full tutorial!
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Now for the quick list! I know this is a quick version, but the mini eBook has a lot of helpful explanations and details and tips!
Ways to Declutter Emails – your personal inbox
We obviously have more flexibility with our personal emails than our work emails. These tips assume that you are using a service such as Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail.
- Unsubscribe to emails you just don’t find yourself ever opening. Take the time and click the link that should be at the bottom of every email. (This doesn’t work for that high school friend who forwards everything!)
- Try using subfolders to keep things more organized. Not only does it keep your inbox cleaner, it also helps you locate something in the future.
- Clean it out to avoid digital clutter. Delete the ones you don’t need. Just do it!
- Be selective about who gets your email address. I used to sign up for a lot of newsletters, thinking “oh it’s just my email address, it doesn’t matter”. But when they start emailing you on a daily basis, it does start to matter. Sign up for what you are truly interested in and bypass the rest.
- Don’t let checking emails take over your time. Personally, I’ve turned off my email notifications on my phone so that I don’t pop in every time something new comes in.
Ways to Declutter Emails – your work inbox
I get it. Many of the work emails we can’t avoid. But there are still some amazing ways to get them more organized, mostly so that you can locate what you need when you need it. Most of these tips are specifically related to Outlook.
- Again, try using subfolders. This is especially important to keep your work communications organized.
- Categories! Color code and organize by Category
- Rules! Set up rules to sort emails automatically
- Follow Up! Set reminders for yourself to follow up
- Quick Steps! One-click little jobs like sorting emails or using an email template
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I manage too many emails?
Sometimes the incoming emails are just too many to manage all at once. I get it – if I go a day without checking one of my inboxes, I pop in and realize I have over 100 unread! It’s overwhelming enough you want to just give up and ignore it! But please don’t… I like to start by sorting by sender. If the email says “last chance” or “disappearing today” and they arrived several days ago — I just delete it without opening. I also have a good idea of whose emails I open every time (and whose I hardly ever open). The ones that I don’t tend to open, again I delete right away.
How do I organize my cluttered inbox?
Repeat after me and say it out loud — Folders are my friends. I try to only keep actionable items in my inbox and use it like a to-do list.
And deleting is a close second. Do you really need to keep everything? Probably not. Once you’ve deleted items you no longer need, sort the remaining into customized folders. Don’t sort until you’ve cleaned out.
How do I keep my inbox clean and decluttered?
Once you’ve spent all that time cleaning up the 1000s of emails in your inbox, you want to make sure it stays that way! Most email services (and Outlook for work) offer an automatic sorting feature. You can direct the service to deposit incoming emails into specific folders so that you can check them when you have time. If it’s actionable, move it back to your inbox until the task is complete. I also find that it helps to only keep the most recent email if the thread is getting too long.