If your email inbox overwhelming you? Learn the easy way to organize your inbox and keep it organized. Gt rid of the stress and junk mail!
Let’s take an (imaginary) poll – raise your hand if just looking at your inbox gives you anxiety? If you lose emails and miss things because seeing all of your unread emails makes you want to avoid all of them? Yeah, me too. A few weeks ago I got fed up and spent 2 hours organizing one of my emails (Okay, I’m not the only one, right?!). YOU GUYS, it has been amazing. I can find things and I know exactly when something important comes in, rather than it getting buried in 8 billion 4th of July sales. So I decided to do it again to my main email and take some screen shots so I could share my method with you! Clean inboxes for everyone, hurray!
Okay, so your inbox looks like this, right? A hot. friggin. mess. First, we’re gonna start here. with your folders.
Folders are the key to organizing your inbox. I want you to think of the kinds of emails you get and make a folder for each one. For me, blog stuff and online orders are the main things that come through this email address, so I made sure to include those. In addition to you basic folders, make sure you add a “To Read” and “To Address” folder. The key is to get as much as you can out of your inbox and into very well segmented folders. Adding sub-folders to your bigger folders makes that even easier.
Your “To Read” folder is for allllll of those emails that you don’t delete because you want to read them. The key is to DELETE the ones that you haven’t read yet in one week. Because if you haven’t read it in one week, you are not going to read it, bub.
Your “To Address” folder is for emails that you need to answer or act upon but that aren’t super urgent.
Basically, get things out of your inbox. Get. Them. Out. The clutter does you no good. It causes you stress, it looks messy and things get lost.
Now you’re saying, yeah, Morgan, but what about the other 1500 emails? (oh yeah, my inbox was that bad.) Now we’re gonna delete, ladies. But first, make an “Unsubscribe” folder. When you hit an email that you know you consistently delete or skip, add it to your unsubscribe folder. You don’t have to unsubscribe right away because that could take a while, but keep a folder handy. That way if you have a couple of minutes on your phone, you can easily delete.
If you know you have a bunch of emails from the same sender, search the name in your inbox and delete them all by clicking select all – that way you’re no deleting them one by one.
Finally, you want to check out your Junk box. I try to check this every day or two because legit emails will get caught in there. For the most part, I delete them all, but be sure that if I legit email gets caught in there to mark it as safe so that that sender doesn’t keep getting sent to your spam. (Also, don’t mark emails as spam unless they are legit spam. It hurts that sender and its kind of mean.
So how do you keep it this way? First and foremost, when you get an email in, immediately put it somewhere. Do not just let it sit in your inbox. If it’s something that you need to answer within 24 hours, flag it. This is a feature I never understood until recently, but basically it puts it ABOVE your inbox so every time you go there you can’t miss it. It’s been such a big help for me not forgetting emails I really need to answer.
And finally, make sure you clean out your folders regularly. Don’t let them turn into your secondary inbox of emails that never see the light of day. Any emails that you can’t delete, put into more permanent folders (not your to read or address folders) or download and save them elsewhere.
I hope this helps you to organize your inbox and to KEEP it that way! Emails were made to simplify our lives, don’t allow them to stress you out with a gigantic inbox.
So tell me – do you need to organize your inbox? Do you lose emails? Does your inbox stress you out? Let me know in the comments!
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This is great, because I love cleaning out my inbox. I think I need to unsubscribe from a few more emails, and I like the way you suggested for unsubscribing. I need to do that.
It really helps with time management – I could spend 2 hours unsubscribing if I gave myself the time, but if I have a folder I can do one or 2 here and there whne I would probably just be wasting time!
I’m so guilty of this! My inbox is a hot. friggin. mess. too! I NEVER clean out my folders. Actually, I never even think to! Thanks for the tips!
Adrian G says
I wrote a very similar post, because I struggle with digital hoarding tendencies. I’ve been using UnRoll.me to help me manage my inbox, but I still have about 3500 Emails in my inbox. One thing I’ve found helpful is to grab like 50 or 100 Emails at a time and pick the ones I’m going to KEEP rather than picking the ones I want to DELETE. That just makes me look at them differently.
So good! I am also looking this one. Thank your sharing! Sometimes, i also meet several problems about my inobx. 🙁
Kristy from Southern In Law says
Sooooooo, my inbox is super organised EXCEPT for the 50+ unread emails that just sit there waiting for me to get around to them. I get way too many emails a day (and I mean legitimate emails anywhere between 100-200 a day as I’m not subscribed to anything or I’d totally lose it!) and so there’s always a backlog of around 50 or so emails that I don’t have the time to reply to/aren’t interested in just at this moment etc that “i’ll get to”.
Definitely need to get on top of that!
Marina @ Home Office Geeks says
I can’t stand messy inbox! Great tips!
Meg @ The Many Little Joys says
Oh, I so need to organize my email. I recently went through and deleted all the stuff in my promotions folder, but I need to organize my legitimate emails so that I don’t have 5,285 emails anymore! Ridiculous, I know. I think you’ve inspired me. 🙂
I avoid my hotmail account because it has too many to be checked 🙁
Janet Vinyard says
Hi Morgan, Great tips for organizing those pesky e-mails! Thanks for sharing your techniques with us! Blessings, Janet
Debbie Williams says
Thank you. I’ve been working on my emails for months. This should help.
Michelle @ Lively Chicken says
I’m pretty good at staying on top of my emails. I organize them all into folders and only leave them in my Inbox if I need to respond or do something related to the message. So my inbox acts as a to-do list. One thing I should get better at is unsubscribing from emails. I delete so many messages without ever opening them…I should take the time to unsubscribe instead.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
Ohhh the inbox. Mine can be a nightmare, but I think a big part of that is that I’m not always the best at responding to emails in a timely fashion. Like I’ll read them and answer them in my head instead of actually responding to them. Then it’s been 2 weeks and I don’t know if I’m supposed to respond or let them go 😆 Work in progress.
Jill from Jill on the hill says
Great post! I never thought of the “unsubscribe” folder! I will implement that for sure! Thanks!!
Luckily I check my inbox a few times of day to keep up with it. It is on the days when I can’t check it trouble begins. I think though I have a fairly good grip on it. You offer great tips here though. Thanks for sharing at Party at My Place.
Donna @ Soul Survival says
My inbox never seems to “get there” when it comes to being organized, but I’m determined to change that! Thanks for the helpful info. Blessings!
Michal @ Life in Simple Words says
Great post. I receive so many emails from websites I signed to and forgot about it. Creating an unsubscribe folder is a great idea. Thank you!
Like everyone, I struggle with my inbox clutter. These are great tips and I’m getting to work today. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party. Pinning Now.