Ducks 'n a Row: Email Overtaking You? Declutter!

19 May 2011

Email Overtaking You? Declutter!

Email inboxes can get just as cluttered as a kitchen counter full of junk mail, if you let them. Subscribe to lots of newsletters and alerts and you can easily get 10, 20 even 50 new emails per day! Even if they are all your "favorites", they can become overwhelming clutter when left unchecked.

Here are some ways to tame the "Email Jungle" and enjoy a peaceful, clean inbox:

Empty Your Inbox illustration by Christopher Hitz
1. Keep up with it daily. Empty that inbox of everything that is not truly essential before the sun goes down.

2. Save what you want to keep for later use. Use folders or labels to identify senders and move those emails out of the inbox to safe storage.

3. Archive. No time to think about it? If you have let it grow to hundreds, even thousands, of emails you may have an unmanageable mess. If this is you and you use Gmail, "select all" and archive them. For other services like Yahoo, create a general folder as a holding tank. "Select all" and then move them safely out of the way.

4. Delete. Live dangerously and delete them all! If your email account is only used for pleasure and not bank notices, bills and other essentials, you can do this. Most of us don't want to take the chance of throwing away something really good, though. Gmail allows you to archive and have the best of both worlds. You can move them out of the way quickly to the archive and find them in a pinch if you need them. That is why Gmail is my preferred service.

Do you have a system that works for you? Let us know how you handle the "Email Jungle"! Comment below. Also, we'd love to see your links. Enter them below. Share a favorite post and we'll all visit you.
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