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Women in Business

5 Tips to Organize Email and Spring Clean Your Inbox

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March is here, making it the perfect time to think spring and how to organize email! It’s a different kind of cleaning – one that doesn’t even require a bucket! Let’s look at some easy ways to organize email and clean out your email inboxes. Mine can get more cluttered than my boys’ toyroom when they are on a LEGO building kick.

Organize your email with these five tips for spring cleaning your inbox.

5 Tips to Organize Email and Clean Out Your Inbox

It’s time to think spring! Warmer weather comes to mind and so does Spring Cleaning. While I can’t say I’m super excited to start the much-needed scrub down my house needs to get rid of all these winter germs once and for all, I do love the fresh start that comes with spring cleaning and organizing email.

Manage Old Emails

I blame my smartphone for the amount of clutter that accumulates in my inbox. I’ll read a message while I’m out and about and instead of deleting them, I simply scroll to the next. The emails pile up that way, though. Chances are, you don’t need all those emails in your inbox. But when the number of emails in your inbox reaches anywhere in the triple digits or higher, it can seem daunting.

  • Start with the oldest messages first: Chances are you don’t really need emails from last year. Starting with the oldest messages, select delete all, and quickly scan down to make sure there isn’t something there you need, like a blog contact. Anything you need, put into an appropriate folder. Anything you don’t, delete.
  • Search for ads: Do a search for words like “sale” and “coupon” in the subject line and senders like “White House Black Market” and “Loft”(those are my personal shopping addictions – just substitute yours). Now delete all of them. Except maybe this week’s ads, because you are going to use that coupon this time.

Manage New Incoming Emails

Once you get your old emails under control, you want to be sure they don’t just pile up again.  You can take steps to keep your incoming emails under control from the start.

  • Turn off unnecessary notifications: Do you really need an email to tell you someone commented on your status on facebook or liked one of your pins on Pinterest or mentioned you on twitter? If you are spending time on those networks, you’ll see those notifications anyway.
  • Unsubscribe from unwanted emails: There are so many emails I signed up to receive and then never open. Yet, I delete them instead of unsubscribing, because I think it’s quicker that way. But, seriously, take the less than 30 seconds to unsubscribe instead of constantly deleting the daily or weekly emails you receive from that sender. I just recently unsubscribed from the newsletters that told of local happenings in the town I moved away from over three years ago. Somehow, I thought deleting each of the two hundred or so emails I’d received from them over the past three years was better than taking the time to unsubscribe. Wrong. If you have hundreds of emails subscriptions to go through, you might want to consider using a service like UnrollMe that will pull up everything you are subscribed to and make it easy to unsubscribe in batches.
  • Create email filters and labels: You can set up filters for things like twitter so that all of your new follower notification emails automatically go to their own folder where you can choose to look at them later, all at once. You can also make it so that emails from specific email addresses are automatically given a label when they land in your inbox.

Bonus Tip: Do you use Gmail? I know it has been a while since they introduced the tabs within your inbox, so it might seem like old news to many of you. But I’m including this tip because I’m surprised at how many people hate having the tabs, and don’t know how to get rid of them! If this is you, I’m going to change your email world for you, and it will take less than a minute.

Click on your settings gear and select “configure inbox.” Uncheck all of the boxes except for Primary.

Configure your gmail inbox to remove the promotions tab.

That’s it! No more annoying tabs.

If you like the tabs you can always add them back in. But I prefer to set up my own folders and labels, so that I control exactly which emails go where. Especially after I realized Gmail was filtering the newsletters I actually wanted to read into their promotions tab that I wasn’t checking.

Remember: when it comes to emails, if you don’t need it, delete it.
If you do need it, put it in appropriate folder so it’s easy to find.

What are you doing this spring to get your social media accounts in order? Do you have any tips to add to help spring clean your email accounts?

Like This Post on Organizing Email? Here Are More

If a post on how to organize email is just the tip of the iceberg for your spring cleaning efforts, then here are a few more posts you should check out. They are sure to keep your online {and offline world} in tip top shape!

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