Ping! Little red icon with a 1 pops up on my email icon.
(few minutes later) Ping! The icon jumps up to 2. Cue a shudder and an intense desire to get rid of the little red icon. (Anyone else relate?)
The email struggle is real. I have over 5 email addresses, with 3 of them getting flooded with numerous emails daily. I am also one of those weird (yet totally adorable, right?) individuals who MUST (and I do mean must!) have all the red icons on my phone/tablet/computer completely gone.
I realize that many individuals don’t see the importance of this, and perhaps the pesky notification bubbles don’t bother them. But I’ve met a lot of people who have expressed how overwhelming all their notifications can be, especially with email.
They also talk about how they leave their overflowing inbox alone simply because they don’t want to go through and delete all of the hundreds of unopened emails that they have.
I can relate to the struggle. My email inboxes can wreck havoc on my life if I let them. But I try hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. I fight to always have my email under control. And let me tell you, it is SO worth it! I don’t lose emails, get frustrated, or have anxiety from a lack of organization!
So my dear cluttered friend, it’s time to take charge and make a change!
3 Easy Ways to Have a Clutter Free Inbox
SEPARATE THE FINAL DESTINATIONS
All of your emails shouldn’t go to the same place. That doesn’t mean that you need multiple emails, although I’m sure most of you do. Email systems come with a wide range of features. Typically, there is one that will funnel your email into separate places. You can create folders based on the sender or use filters to keep everything categorized.
If you have multiple accounts, then determine what type of emails each one should be used for. I have a personal email that my friends use to send me things, and I also send important emails to that folder (such as info from my bank, PayPal, an association for Speech Pathology, church emails, etc.) It is so important to have ONE place where all of your important information is sent and stored. This will make finding old (yet important) emails so much easier! And you won’t miss a thing!
I also have an account that I use as a promotional junk mail account. This is perfect for all the restaurant clubs and clothing store emails that you’re likely part of (guilty here!) I love having an account that is specifically designed for all the unimportant stuff. It keeps me focused. And my waistline is definitely thankful that I don’t recognize the latest Baskin Robbins special as a priority!
Lastly, don’t mix your work and personal emails. It will just create clutter and make it easier for important things to fall through the cracks. I have a special account reserved for all things related to my blog. I use it for all of my subscriptions to bloggers’ latest posts and newsletters. My social media accounts and all inquiries for Adventures and Kindness are sent directly to this account. It helps me stay organized and keeps me from losing precious emails!
MONITOR YOUR Email cHECKING
How often do you want to check your emails?
Do you get paid to check your emails even when you aren’t at work? If not, then try keeping that account off of your phone. You can check it when you arrive at work, when you leave, and throughout the day as needed. Don’t give yourself the extra stress if it’s not necessary!
How do you check them?
As my best friend would say, “complete the task”. If you decide to check your email, make sure you have the time, or check it again later when you do. For example, it can be easy to get in a hurry and quickly check your email only to read 1 important one and logout before dealing with all of the other ones. This is not completing the task! It will leave your inbox full of clutter. Give yourself a little time to manage it. *see number 3* This will keep that pesky red button away, and it will also make your inbox (and therefore you) happy!
DELETE, DELETE, DELETE
If you want to keep your inbox organized, then the delete button is your new best friend! It’s not necessary to read every single email that you receive. In fact, I would say it’s much healthier and less time consuming if you don’t!
Here’s what I do:
- log onto email
- scan unread messages
- go through and read/reply to important ones
- select all unopened ones and click on the trash icon
This ensures that important messages are given top priority, but you’re also getting rid of everything you don’t need. Now be careful with this! If you followed part 1, then I recommend really using this for your junk account.
If your email account has unlimited space, then you might not have to delete it. But ii there’s a cap, then t is extremely helpful to delete as you go (rather than try to delete a ton when it informs you your mailbox is full.)
Use your best judgment, and enjoy the gratification of an organized inbox! I hope these 3 easy steps transform the way you tackle the big email giant. Don’t let it win. Stay organized. Stay focused. Stay happy 🙂
What do YOU do to keep your inbox clean? Let me know in the comments!