Believe it or not (especially those of you who have been in the path of this winter’s “Polar Vortex”), spring cleaning is right around the corner. We’re in the digital age now and, as a result, we can’t neglect to include our “digital clutter” in our spring cleaning efforts. If you’re a little ashamed by how unruly your inbox has gotten, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Here are 4 simple ways you can clear up the clutter in your inbox:
1) Delete, delete, delete
If you’re feeling daring, delete your whole inbox and start from scratch. But if the sound of that gives you a heart attack, start small. The reason your inbox has gotten so crazy is probably because you don’t delete emails. Put an hour on your calendar every Friday to go through your emails from the past week and delete anything you will never need again. For everything else, respond to it or file it away.
2) Create Some Folders And File It Away
At one point or another, you’ve probably had a filing cabinet somewhere with a bunch of folders that each had a little tab – taxes, bills, etc. You need to replicate that for your inbox. Think about some major categories that would work for you and create a folder for each of them. After you’ve read the email, put it away in the right folder. That way, it won’t clog up your inbox and you’ll know exactly where to find it later on when you need it.
If you’ve ever shopped online, then you probably get what seems like a million promotional emails from retailers every single day – most of which you don’t read but still sit in your inbox. To save your inbox some space, pick a few stores you like and keep yourself on those mailing lists. Otherwise, unsubscribe from everything. It’s also great for your wallet since you’ll be less tempted to shop sales.
4) Separate It
You have a separate email accounts for work and personal emails, why not everything else? Like the “file it away” method but on a bigger scale, you can also create separate accounts for everything — work, family, friends, shopping. That way, you can check just the accounts that are important to you and ignore everything else until you’re ready.
While we don’t put much importance on how tidy we keep our inboxes, you’ll be surprised by much less stressed you feel and more productive you get just by organizing your emails.