If you have a very busy schedule, your email inbox can quickly become overfilled with all sorts of email from different sources. While this can happen in any industry, this is particularly true if you work in the tech industry because there are so many potential distractions to catch your eye. Just like your physical inbox, we recommend decluttering your email inbox for a better work-life balance and to keep your email inbox clear of clutter.
We know that it can be difficult to remove old emails. Sometimes it’s even hard to stop reading an email before deleting it. To tackle this problem, we suggest you go in a batch and delete at least 1x per week.
These methods listed below are sure to help keep your inbox free and clear on a regular basis.
1) Set your email to “archive” or delete. On the toolbar for your email client, you can change how emails are processed within your account by clicking Archive on the left side of the toolbar. If you have multiple email accounts, this option is also available on the archive menu for each account. You can also create a custom folder for removing emails from your inbox that are no longer relevant to you.
2) Check your filters regularly. Your email filters are used for catching spam and blocking access to unwanted email senders. Check the spam or junk mail folder at least once per week to make sure your personal filters are working effectively. If you are using Gmail, you should at least use a Gmail filter like ReplyAll or BlockSender that blocks spam based on keywords, domains and IP addresses.
3) Use the “read later” feature on Gmail. If you don’t have time to read an email right away, you can set it to be read later. To do this, click on the downward arrow at the top right of the message and choose “Snooze”. This will remove the email from your inbox until later. You can also choose a specific date from which you want it to be removed.
4) Use priority inbox or tabs in your email client. Highlighted emails are generally more important than un-highlighted emails. If you are using Gmail, you can also view your emails by priority using the Priority Inbox feature.
5) Delete email that you have already read. If you read an email and decide to unsubscribe, delete it from your inbox once it shows up in your junk mail folder or archive folder.
6 ) Follow-up on important messages. When you follow-up on emails, send more than one email asking the same thing in a row and then turn off the option for sending a response if there was none.
7) Manage subscription preferences wisely. Typically, at the bottom of most emails that you receive from businesses, you’ll have the option to unsubscribe or manage email subscription preferences. It only takes a moment to click the link (usually found at the bottom of the email), to set which emails you want to receive from that business. If you are not getting any benefit from the emails from that business, you may decide to unsubscribe altogether meaning one less email to read or manage.
There are many more ways to keep your email inbox clean. These are just a few examples of what you can do now to start freeing up time spent on email management.