Yes, it’s a problem that many of us have but may not consider to be a ‘real’ problem. I think email and digital clutter can weigh us down a lot. We don’t always notice the clutter because it sits out in cyber-space – a place that we cannot actually see with our eyes from day-to-day.
However, keeping this part of our lives clutter free can help you live a more stress-free life because you will spend less time searching through the piles of junk and unnecessary emails.
So if you are reading this and you know that you have more than 500, 1,000, or even more than 10,000!! unread emails clogging up your inbox this blog post is definitely for you!
Keep reading for some great tips and strategies!
The first tip I want to talk about is unsubscribing. A vast majority of email clutter stems from the fact that like our physical stuff – we just have too much coming in.
If you can slow down the rate of receiving then that will make a big difference in managing your emails and in turn you will not miss anything important.
Gmail in particular has a feature where your emails are filtered into categories. I personally do not love this feature because I find that people (myself included) often miss things that look like promotions for example, but aren’t because they never check the promotions category.
Unsubscribing will save you from the bombardment of ads from retailers. Frankly, if we limit the amount of ads we were getting from retailers, especially ones that we never shop at, then you are taking the first step to minimize the potentially huge influx of emails.
Take a look through your email now, say the first 20 emails, and see if you can unsubscribe to anything that is a promotional email.
An additional trick is to type the email of retailer in your search bar and it will bring up all the emails sent from this store. Simple select them all and press delete on all the old ones to clear them from your inbox instantly!
So why do I think it’s important to delete excess and unnecessary emails? Because personally I think that your inbox should function as sort of a to-do list. More than that though, when you have a lot of emails that you don’t need or ignore are really low priority, you can miss important emails.
The next action I want you take is to think about what your ideal inbox looks like. An inbox at zero? Meaning you have no emails in your inbox. I personally sit between 10-30 as a comfort zone. I leave things in there are still in play such as reservations, invitations, and tasks I still need to accomplish.
Seeing these 10-30 emails reminds me of the things that I need to take care of, because like I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have the best memory. When I see these unread emails they jog my memory and the more likely I will remember to do something I might have forgotten to do!
Next I want to talk about archiving your old emails. A lot of people keep things in their inbox because they want to be able to find it later. The archive and search functions are so improved now that if you need to save something not in play anymore you can archive it. This means you can search for it or create a folder for the category it belongs in so you can sort like emails together.
For example, I have a folder for work emails, a folder for bills, and a folder for each one of my children to sort emails that come in that are related to them.
I use the folders because it makes it much easier to search for a certain email because it has a defined category. And I archive certain emails such as conversations just so that I have a record and again it is easily searchable.
The last quick tip I will leave you with is if you send emails to yourself as a reminder or to have as something to keep such as a recipe. Write the subject of the email easy to remember and search. For example, instead of writing Aunt Leah’s soup recipe instead write vegetarian split pea soup. That way you can easily find things in search.
When you see the numbers of unread emails in your inbox at over 1,000 it can actually make you more stressed out because it all seems so overwhelming. For me I get stressed out looking at 100 unread emails 🙂 But taking actionable steps such as I wrote about above will help you keep the digital clutter at bay.
Of course like all clutter, cleaning up your inbox is something you could ignore. You can actually spend about two hours on getting this cleaned up. But by the end, I promise, you will feel really accomplished, and really clear your clutter and your mind.
Stay tuned for announcements on painless pesach! And if you want more help – reach out and let’s do a consultation!
For now – happy organizing.