Declutter Tips for a Clean Inbox
While you are tackling your email accounts, keep these tips in mind:
- Sort by Sender and look for large groups of emails from the same sender. Determine if you still want to receive those emails. If you have 10 unread emails from as far back as 3 months or more, than chances are you don’t REALLY need to keep those emails. Do what you need to in order to stop receiving those type of emails. Unsubscribe from the newsletter, turn off notifications etc.
- Sort by Subject and look for large groups of emails with the same or similar subjects. Do the same as above.
- Sort by Date (most recent first) to go through the rest. As you open each email, try to deal with it immediately. The goal is to not close an email and leave it there if at all possible. If you don’t need it, delete it. If you need to reply to it, do so. If it contains important information like registration details, make a folder called archive and put it there. But ONLY put VERY important emails you need to keep long term in there. If you need to do something else before you can reply, do it if you can. If you can’t take action right now because you have to do something first that takes a while (write up a review, check with someone else, decide on something etc.) than either leave it in your inbox for now or transfer it to a separate folder to deal with.
- If your inbox is REALLY bad (whatever you consider really bad but I’d say over 500 emails for sure) and even after deleting groups of the same type of email you are still overwhelmed and don’t know what to do with it all, make a separate folder called inbox 2 under the regular inbox and move EVERYTHING from your inbox into that. Then you can start fresh when new things come into your inbox but you can still use search to find what you need from your inbox 2 folder. (in the image on the right, you can see I apparently need to make an inbox 3 and start over AGAIN!)
I Need Help!
I don’t personally use these resources but I found a few things you might want to try out. If you use them, let me know in the comments!
Mailstrom – Free trial or paid subscription service. You give it access to your email account and it loads your emails and allows you to delete, archive or unsubscribe in batches. Free trial loads up to 5000 emails and lets you process up to 25% of them.
Unroll.me – easily unsubscribe from newsletters and subscriptions on your account. Works for web-based mail (Outlook.com including Hotmail, MSN, and Windows Live, Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, and iCloud.)