Email inboxes can become a stressful source of frustration when they become too full of irrelevant information. I know many of my clients get stuck in their email daily. How do you know when your email box is too full? The answer to this question will vary by each person and how they work. If you are constantly searching your email box for important messages and you are frustrated because searches take too long then your email box is too full. If your IT department keeps calling you and requesting you to archive some email; your email box is too full. If you are paying Google or another provider to store messages; your email is too full. Some people try to work on getting their inbox to zero messages. I do not work from an empty email box, and I have not ever had a goal of getting it to zero. I use my inbox as a working file. In other words, I use my inbox to hold emails that require a further action or follow up. Once the appropriate action is taken, I move the email to the trash or an appropriate folder. Some people create an “Action” folder to keep their “To Do” items, and I know others that use the task list or reminders for their action items. There are a number of ways to manage and work your incoming mail. The idea is to choose the right method for your work style without creating a huge overloaded, overwhelming email box! When your box becomes overloaded or overwhelming, these 6 steps will help you clean up your email and get it under control.
How do I easily clean up my email?
- When you have thousands and thousands of emails it can be an overwhelming and time consuming task to try to clean it up. My first tip to clean out your email box is to set aside 10-15 minutes a day and do one section or one folder. Set a timer, when the timer goes off your done for the day. Schedule another 15-minute session for email cleanup daily until your email is clutter free!
- Sort by date and set a date limit. A quick and easy way to dispose of a ton of email at once is to go to your “Trash” or “Archive” folder and delete all the emails past your date limit. For example, if you set your date at 3 years ago, you would delete anything before June 2012. For all retail ads, 1 – 2 weeks is a good limit, because most store offers are only good for a few days or even a week.
- Sort by From and delete all retail ads, and emails from old contacts you no longer need (like teachers, coaches, etc). You can quickly delete huge sections of emails when you sort this way.
- Sort by conversation and delete all the messages except the last one. You really only need the last piece of the conversation string, because all of the previous messages are usually in the last one.
- Purge all junk and spam folders – You can easily empty your junk and spam folders with the click of a button. In most email versions, you just right click on your Junk or Spam folder and select “Empty folder” or “Erase Junk Mail”.
- File away the messages you need to keep. – If you need to keep an email, you should have a folder to hold it. The inbox is not a good place to keep the emails you are holding for future reference. A good rule to follow is to have your email folders setup similar to your paper files.
For more information on managing your email, please read “Quick Email Organizing Tricks”. If you need help managing or organizing your email and electronic files, Configuration Connection is here to help with our Technology Services! Contact us today at 972-365-0255 to get started.