If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE an email inbox that is clean, empty and organized. It is seriously satisfying for me to see each email being filed or deleted, until there is nothing left. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have work to do when it comes to emails, but I have a great system and I thought I would share with you my easy tips and tricks to organize your email inbox.
CREATE A DIGITAL FILING SYSTEM
First things first! In order to clean and organize your Inbox, you need to create a system that will help you sort the abundance of emails you get on a day to day basis.
Start by looking through your emails, and finding trends in the types of emails you receive. Write down those categories as you work, so you can easily create a series of folders that works for you.
Note: If you use Gmail you will create “Labels” instead of folders.
Here are some folders that I use in both my personal and professional email services:
Correspondence – After responding to emails, the ones I need to keep for informational purposes will go into this folder.
Business Resources– This folder contains all my business email subscriptions, and any other business like emails that are informational in nature.
Business Receipts – When I register with new suppliers, or receive any business like purchases, I collect all that information in one folder. It definitely helps for bookkeeping and later, tax purposes. I also keep a copy of all receipts in a digital folder located on my desktop (which gets backed up weekly). It doesn’t hurt to double up on record keeping.
Shopping – This folder is where most of my newsletter lists end up. Every morning while drinking a cup of tea, I love to just browse the online sales and dream about all the things I might buy.
Downloads & Attachments – For emails that come in with a download link, or an attachment that I want to keep, I throw it in this folder. I find it makes it easier to locate later on when I finally get a chance to sit down and read. Sometime that takes weeks…. but hey, I know where to find it.
Other – I always keep an “Other” file for all the extra emails I don’t know where to keep.
POWER OF UNSUBSCRIBE
The next step is to start getting rid of the excess of emails you don’t really need. Think of it as a Spring cleaning of your inbox. You need to go through your emails and start “tossing” the ones that no longer have value to you.
You can easily and quickly do this by using the “search” function within your main Inbox to start grouping together like emails. For example, if you are an online shopper like me you might be getting several emails from your favourite stores. Start a search for each store to make it easier to select all and move together into your chosen folder.
After you have sorted your emails, the next step is to think about what subscription emails you don’t really need or no longer want to receive. At the bottom of each email there should be an “unsubscribe” button which will take you to the website and allow you to stop the emails.
CLICK IT!! This may take time, and believe me its hard sometimes to make that decision (serious FOMO can come into play, I get it!). Despite your fears, you will feel so much better when your email is empty.
Auto-sort or filter emails
The third step is to create a system to automatically filter the emails that don’t require your direct attention into the file folders you created earlier. Most email services will have a function to automatically send emails from selected email addresses, into the correct file folder. This way your inbox is reserved for important emails, but you are still collecting newsletters that you can read when its more convenient for you.
If you are unsure how to filter your emails, find your email service provider below:
Creating a crisp and clean Inbox is just like coming home to a clean house. It will help you feel more organized, and reduce anxiety and stress. I truly believe that by clearing away the digital clutter, you will start to see returns on your time investment.
What tips or tricks do you use when organizing your email inbox?