Summer, the perfect time to sort out your inbox
Are you one of those people who come across as super organised in life? Perhaps you have a clear desk policy and meticulously file away any paperwork. But, are you also secretly hoarding your emails? Is your inbox full to the brim, with no organisation whatsoever?
It’s easy to let your inbox become cluttered and can be incredibly time consuming to clean it up! Here are our top tips to help.
1. The power of subfolders
We cannot stress the importance of subfolders; creating lots of different categories that you will be able to utilise when searching for an old email. Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to move emails you’re finished with to the correct subfolder. Your inbox will only ever have a few items which in turn will reduce mental clutter. How nice would it be to come into the office with only a handful of emails demanding your attention? This brings us onto our next tip – rules and alerts, well, rule!
2. Make rules and alerts your new best friend
You can also set up rules and alerts diverting emails from select people, or certain subject lines, to a subfolder. If categorising seems overkill, you can always just split your folders into years, or quarters. It will be daunting starting this when you already have a completely full inbox; start with creating a temporary folder and moving everything into that and then give yourself a few minutes each day to separate them.
3. Create an email schedule
Most of us are creatures of habit so why do we insist on dealing with our emails in such a sporadic way? Set yourself time during the day to check your emails. Perhaps a morning and afternoon check and another time to clear clutter. Don’t become a slave to your inbox!
4. Hit that unsubscribe button
We all get junk mail from places we’ve signed up to and forgotten about or from places we definitely know we haven’t signed up to. Hit unsubscribe every time! Or, take a moment during key marketing seasons to unsubscribe on masse; Black Friday and St. Stephen’s Day sales are key seasons for mass marketing emails, go through the ones you’re no longer interested in and take yourself off their mailing list. This should significantly declutter your inbox.
5. Don’t be afraid to delete
Don’t be afraid to delete anything that’s just not important anymore. It’s important to delete where you can because it allows you to simply, let go. If an email isn’t important and doesn’t contain critical information, deleting means you don’t ever have to think about it again. It can free you from any obligation that the email might signify.