7 ways to declutter your email inbox

7 ways to declutter your email inbox

Has your email inbox got out of control?

Is the amount of clutter that you have in your inbox leaving you feeling stressed?

Well, I’m going to share with you some easy tips that will automatically relieve your stress.

So here is what you need to do to restore your inbox:

  1. Utilise the filters - With most email providers you can simply filter out the junk email from the more important email. If you are privy to receiving newsletters that you do not remember signing up for, then by simply changing your settings, you can block whatever types of email you like from being visible in your inbox.

  2. Unsubscribe from mailing lists - if possible, as and when you receive emails where you have been placed on a mailing list, go ahead and unsubscribe The law requires a clearly visible unsubscribe link in all commercial emails.

  3. Set up folders - Now remember that you want to reduce the clutter so I would suggest creating a maximum of 5 folders to house your emails.  I have created folders that I have titled “business”, “newsletters”, “personal”, “receipts” and “kids”. When I receive an email and have scanned it to determine how important it is, I then place in the most appropriate folder.

  4. Adopt the 5-second rule - I know that there are people that have thousands of emails in their inbox. Now if that sounds like you then it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself. You need to adopt the 5-second rule starting with your oldest email. If you haven't looked at the email in the last 6 months, it's very unlikely that you’ll ever look at it again. So I suggest that you quickly scan the email (no more than 5 seconds) and start deleting, deleting, deleting and then delete some more. By limiting the time that you scan the email, there is less of an emotional investment.  As your inbox did not become cluttered overnight, I’m not promising that this process can be done instantly, but if you dedicate a couple of hours to decluttering your inbox you’ll be left with a more manageable inbox that you can be proud of.

  5. Merge multiple email accounts - rather than having the arduous task of checking through multiple email accounts in a day, consider importing them in one easy place. Luckily, all the main email providers let you combine your email accounts into one single inbox.

  6. Use the search box - you can quickly scan the senders of your inbox and use your search engine to pull up all of the emails by the same sender. You’ll then be able to identify if these are emails that you need or if they can be deleted in bulk.

  7. Set up a reminder - schedule a day/time in your calendar each week where you can go through your emails and archive or delete your read messages. When unread emails just sit in your inbox they can act as a distraction.  

And there you have it. Seven easy ways to declutter your email inbox.  Remember that maintaining an orderly inbox requires consistency.

Confession time. How many unread emails do you have in your inbox?