My inbox has been overflowing, and it’s been really overwhelming!
I’m getting more email than ever — and you probably are, too. I don’t think that the abundance of communication is necessarily a bad thing during this time. (I love knowing what’s going on!) But I haven’t been regularly keeping up with organizing the steady influx, and it’s feeling like digital CLUTTER.
Since we’re all living in our inboxes even more than usual these days, I thought I’d share some simple tips for keeping up with your inbox…
Unsubscribe + Delete Mass Mailings
This one is the easiest step for me… getting rid of what I don’t read.
Every so often, I scan through my inbox (and the social and promotional tabs as well, for you fellow Gmail users) and see what mass mailings I’m getting and what I’m often NOT opening or sending straight to the trash.
I’m talking about the emails you get daily or weekly. Do you need Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Southwest, Nordstrom and the restaurant you ate at ONCE emailing you every other day?
We all get emails like this, and many of us simply ignore them. But then suddenly, our inboxes seem terrifying! So take a scan through your email and select the ones that need to go. If you have so many that even this task feels overwhelming, I suggest that you set a timer and spend just 10-15 minutes a day doing this, for as many days as you need, until you’ve gotten through it all.
Once you decide what to toss, take a few moments to unsubscribe to each of them. If you have a stockpile of those old newsletters and promotions, do a quick search by “sender,” and send them all to the trash.
If you’re someone who actually loves receiving promotional emails, that’s okay! Just make sure you’re ONLY subscribed to things that you actually enjoy receiving. And remember, you can always sign back up if you’re really missing something.
Label + Move
Remember our old adage, “Everything in your home should have a home”? This is absolutely true for your email, as well! And your inbox IS NOT A HOME for anything except for emails that need to be dealt with.
This is where folders and labels come in.
I utilize both of those in my personal and work email accounts to maintain an inbox filing system.
There is no shortage of ways to label! You can create large, umbrella-style folders with subfolders (my personal style!) — or you can create numerous individual folders. You can have as many or as few as you’d like. Just make sure that YOU understand your own filing system. This way, if you need to reference an email, you’ll know just where to search.
Once you have created a folder system, you can start moving emails that you need to keep or might want to reference in the future into their new “homes”.
My personal system is to only move emails out of my inbox and into folders once they have been dealt with. My inbox is used to hold items that require my immediate-ish attention ONLY — things I need to read, respond to or follow up with. Once that happens, I am free to file away!
This one can be a bit time-consuming at first, but also totally worth it.
To help minimize inbox clutter, consider creating filters that automatically file emails you don’t need to read right away, such as auto-pay receipts.
You can also use filters to auto-label emails that you receive regularly, so you don’t have to think about where to file them when they arrive in your inbox.
With so much more time being spent in the digital world, my hope is that this will help keep your e-world as Practically Perfect as possible!
And please tell me… what are YOUR best tips for email inbox maintenance?
Cover image by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash
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