Whoa! I don’t know about you but my email inbox has gotten way outta control! It seems that everywhere you go everyone wants your email address for one reason or another… then I find all of these really interesting newsletters and such that I want to sign up for but then I get so OVERWHELMED trying to keep up with it all that I don’t even want to check my email anymore. This isn’t a good thing as I actually manage 5 other email accounts as well!
This week I’ve set some goals for myself in many different areas. One of those was my email inbox. I was receiving something like 1,000+ emails a day which is CRAZY, right? I had made a folder named ‘1 To Read’ for important things but that had gotten a bit full as well. On top of that, I also had about 100 other folders for various topics… yep, they were organized but cluttered.
So this week I decided to go ahead and tackle this mess. Here is the game plan I came up with:
Every day I spend about 10 minutes doing the following:
- Check emails and immediately delete anything not important.
- Immediately respond to important emails.
- Unsubscribe to at least 5 emails/day.
- Empty the Junk/Spam Folder.
- Declutter my folders a few a day.
- Empty Trash Folder.
Check emails and immediately delete anything not important.
Checking the messages seems to go much faster if I use my phone and I’m sure it will go a lot faster on my laptop when I finally get this mess under control. When I scroll through the new messages I simply ‘Select All’ at the top of the screen and uncheck anything important as well as unchecking 3-5 of the ones I want to unsubscribe to also.
Immediately respond to important emails.
Then on my laptop (I find it easier to do this part on the laptop) I then make sure I have responded to anything important. After responding I make sure to go through the unsubscribe process for the emails I left in my inbox.
Unsubscribe to at least 5 emails/day.
I take about a minute and unsubscribe to the emails that I left in my Inbox.
Empty the Junk/Spam Folder.
I then open my Junk/Spam Folder and make sure nothing important fell in there before I delete everything.
Declutter my folders a few a day.
After this I start going through my folders I have created. I set myself up a few groups to work on every day. Ex: (A-D), (E-H), (I-L), (M-P), (Q-S), and (T-Z).
I had to break them up into small chunks because I had so many to go through. If it is a folder for a company I am no longer working with I will open it and just scan through to make sure it doesn’t have anything important before deleting the folder. One down and 99 to go! This is a bit tedious so it helps that I broke it into smaller chunks.
If it is a folder that I need to keep, I simply leave it alone unless I need to change the name because some of the companies have changed names or there were some misspelled names… oops. Then there are some folders that need to be consolidated so I just open one and move all the messages to one folder before deleting the one(s) I don’t need.
Empty Trash Folder
Once this has been completed for the day I go ahead and scan through my Trash Folder before deleting it. Once I finish decluttering the folders I will start going through the ones that I’ve decided to keep and see what information I can get rid of or consolidate to make it all a little bit more streamlined.
This whole process takes 10 minutes or less each morning and my inbox is looking much more organized every day. This helps me to start my day out on a positive note even though no one else can see the improvement.
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