clear out your inbox with these tips_jurrens

Inbox Maintenance Part I: Clear It Out

Do you fear opening your email? Overwhelmed and anxious about the thousands of unread emails sitting in your inbox? Can’t find the information you’re looking for? It’s time to declutter your inbox.

Below, you’ll find tips and tricks for cutting down on your inbox clutter. Our next blog will give you ideas for how to maintain your decluttered inbox.

Declutter Your Inbox Overflow in Chunks

If you’ve got thousands of emails sitting in your inbox, sorting it probably seems impossible. That’s why we recommend decluttering in chunks rather than all at once.

There are all sorts of way to chunk out your inbox decluttering. You could set a goal to get through one month’s worth of emails, sort all the emails from a particular sender, or work through your read or unread emails first. Whatever system you choose, be sure to block time off in your schedule for email decluttering. You’ll be surprised at how much you can declutter from your inbox in just a half hour.   

Keep What You Need in Folders

As you declutter, there will be emails you can delete right away. But there are many others you may need or want to keep. For these emails, take a moment to create a file system. For some business owners, it makes sense to file emails by client or customer. For others, it makes more sense to file by project or type of task.

Once you’ve set up your folder system, it’s time to get to work. Decide if you should keep an email or if you can delete it. If you’re keeping it, decide which folder it should go into. If there’s an action item in the email, either reply back to the sender or add it to a running list of follow-up tasks. PRO TIP: You can convert an email to a task right in Outlook.

Don’t Fear DELETE

Deleting emails is a permanent step that can feel scary. But when’s the last time you’ve looked at an email you received five years ago? We suggest putting a time limit on the emails you keep. If it’s more than five years old, you likely don’t need to keep it. If an old email contains an important file, take the time to download the file to your computer, then delete the email. Most promotional emails, calendar invites, reminders, and emails from no-reply addresses can be deleted without fear.

Unsubscribe from Unnecessary eNewsletters

Promotional emails or eNewsletters from trade groups and companies you work with create a lot of clutter quickly. We suggest you unsubscribe ruthlessly. If you do find value in seeing an email from a company hit your inbox every month or so, feel free to keep it. But all others can go. Just hit unsubscribe at the bottom of the emails to opt out.

By following these tips, you’re well on your way toward decluttering your inbox. Once you have your inbox under control, it will be time to put processes in place to maintain your clean inbox. Watch for our next blog for those tips! If you’re frustrated with your email hosting setup, Jurrens can help! We have cloud-based solutions that can help you scale your email storage and email users. Get in touch today to learn more.