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Is your email inbox so full, you can't find anything? Well, here are 5 ways to organize your email inbox, so you'll never lose that important email from your boss again!

5 ways to organize your email inbox

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overflowing inbox

Is your email inbox so full, you can’t find anything? Well, here are 5 ways to organize your email inbox, so you’ll never lose that important email from your boss again!

So, as I have mentioned before, I spent many years as a children’s librarian. One of my jobs was putting up book displays on different topics, including those days and weeks celebrating all kinds of educational, fun, and (sometimes) wacky things. I checked my trusty sources to see what was going on this week and found something you might find helpful.

This week (January 22-26) is Clean Out Your Inbox Week. It’s always the last business week of January, and a good reminder to get your email under control.

We get so much email these days that it can seem impossible to keep it all under control.

I know it can be hard. Many of us have several different email accounts, (I have 6 (!) – 2 personal and 4 business ones) and they can really fill up quickly.

I have made it a goal over the years to keep my email managed and to make sure that each of my accounts has an empty inbox at least once a day. And it’s not because I’m a professional organizer, either. It’s because, frankly, it completely stresses me out and makes me totally unproductive if I don’t. Now, I must admit, that although this is a must for my business accounts, I do let my personal ones slide for a few days at a time. But, even so, it really isn’t hard to keep them organized if you have good strategies in place to help you out!

So, today I want to share 5 tips to help you better manage your email inbox (whether it’s your personal or business one).

1. Get your inbox to ZERO at least once a day. No matter how many messages you have in your inbox, start TODAY to whittle it down to ZERO. If you have pages of messages in your inbox, don’t give up before you even start. Sit down and clean out 1 full page of messages from your inbox (or 50 emails or 100, etc.). If you have time, do another full page, and so on and so on until you’ve gone through them all. If you know most of what’s in your inbox is stuff you don’t want, you can click on the box at the top of your inbox that says something like “select all” or “mark all,” which will highlight all of the messages on that page. You can take a quick look and UNCHECK any you DO want to save. Then simply hit delete and all of the checked messages (ones you DON’T want) will be deleted all at once. Boom! Done!

So, what to do with the messages that are left?

2. Set up folders to keep important info so you can find it. No matter which email provider you use, you can set up folders to organize your messages. If you don’t know how, there should be a help area under your settings or at the top of your inbox that can show you the steps. I use Gmail for my business emails. There are a lot of mentors, bloggers, business groups, and organizations I follow, so I regularly use folders and sub-folders not only to keep them all organized, but also to be able to find them again (which is just as important!).

3. Respond to each email within 1 day. This is another part of reaching your goal of getting your inbox to zero each day. Not only is it good practice if you are in business, but it’s also just plain polite to respond to friends and family in a timely manner in your personal email, too.

4. When you can, be brief. Sometimes we put off an email because we think it will take a l-o-n-g time to write. Yes, there are times when you will have to add details, but many times a quick acknowledgement or a few lines will suffice. So, as you begin cleaning out your inbox, send those replies as concisely as possible so you can get that inbox emptied!

5. Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read. (Not my newsletter, of course, because it’s awesome! 😊) But, seriously, are you on store email lists that send you ad emails weekly, but you rarely shop there anymore? Notification feeds from social media (like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) that send you an email every time one of your friends posts something? Unsubscribe from those emails that you never even open. Why have them cluttering up your inbox? By law, emails have to have a place in them (usually at the bottom) that allows you to either unsubscribe outright or change the amount of emails you receive from them (instead of daily, change it to a weekly or monthly round-up).

And there you go – 5 great ways to help you conquer that email inbox clutter!


Oh, and by the way, remember how I said some of the celebration days are fun and wacky?

Well, National Peanut Butter Day is Wednesday (January 24th)!

So, here are two of my favorite peanut butter recipes to help you celebrate.

Old fashioned peanut butter cookies.

Old fashioned peanut butter cookies.

and Decadent buckeye brownies.

Decadent buckeye brownies.

Yummy!

Enjoy your peanut butter goodies while you tackle that inbox and let me know how it goes, okay?

P.S. The site I use to find those “National Days” is National Day Calendar. Check it out. It’s fun!


(Just so you know, this page contains some affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). However, I only ever mention products I love and would recommend whether I was being compensated or not. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.)

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Author: Pam Hoepner

Hi I'm Pam, a seasoned homemaker with a husband, 3 teenagers, and a houseful of pets. I'm also a librarian and professional organizer (The Economical Organizer) who loves to share my hard-earned homemaking, DIY and organizing skills with others so you too can have a Life, Creatively Organized.

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