Clear Your Inbox

If you’re like me, your e-mail inbox can get pretty flipping hectic. Every day, I get a minimum of 25 messages sent to my personal account. Maybe 3 require a response. But I rarely go through them. I say, “I really want to read this person’s blog posts. I’ll do it when I get home.”  Then I end up getting home and I’ve received 3 more that I want to read. I plan on reading them before I fall asleep that night and, over night, I get 14 more. Now, it’s easy for things to snowball and, by the end of the week, I would easily have 125 e-mails in my inbox, not including the 2 I keep in there from my dad.  But that’s before I came up with my current strategy. So, here are a few tips.

  1. Purge the inbox completely. Seriously. Select all e-mails. Archive them if they’re not extremely important. And, there you have it. A clear inbox. But that’s just the beginning. Now you must follow my process (or at least take mine with a grain of salt and develop your own).
  2. Create proactive filters. I get e-mails from J. Crew and Bath & Body Works and all these other companies trying to market their products. I’m guessing you do to. And those e-mails serve a purpose. When it’s time to go shopping, I just may need a discount code for a J. Crew suit and they have some pretty good deals. But I don’t need to see it all the time. So I set up filters that push predetermined e-mails from the inbox straight to the archives. I can always get to them if I need them but, chances are, I’ll never need them.


    How to create a filter using Gmail.

  3. Develop a reply time frame and stick to it. I reply to all e-mails within 48 business hours. I try to keep it down to 24 but sometimes I miss the mark. After I respond, I remove it from my inbox and set a reminder with Siri to follow up after a week, if necessary.
  4. Don’t create unnecessary folders. Just archive. Before I knew how to use GMail, I created folders for everything. Now I don’t really worry about folders because I never look back through the folders. Gmail (and likely other major e-mail providers) allow you to search through all of your e-mails. So, I just archive things when I’m done and, if I ever need them again, I just search. Boom. Simple.
  5. Wipe your e-mail accounts from your phone from time to time. Right now, my e-mail takes up 81 MB of space on my smartphone. Ok. Now hold on. Let me wipe my G-mail off and re-sign in.. *73 seconds goes by* 11.3 MB gained. While that may not seem like a whole lot on a 64 GB iPhone but every byte helps, especially when you’re trying to download more music every week, right?
  6. Check your spam folder every two weeks. This has nothing to do with your inbox but I miss so many e-mails just because I forget to look at my spam folder. I still forget it from time to time. *Note to self: create a standing reminder every two weeks to check Spam folder*

Create an e-mail organization process and stick to it. It will make your life more seamless.


Make professional development a priority.


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