It takes some dedication and a good system to keep unread emails from piling up and from you spending hours sorting this out.
Try these 10 tips and tricks to manage your inbox efficiently –
#1. Block and unsubscribe
The next thing to filter is emails that you never open. Maybe you subscribed to a website a while ago but don’t need that content in your inbox anymore. Or you signed up on a website that shares your email with advertising networks. In this case, you might find people emailing you that you’re completely unaware of.
If the advertisement is not relevant, it can be pretty annoying to receive these emails. In this case, you should not only delete these emails but also block them to let your email provider know you don’t want to receive these emails anymore.
If you use Gmail, you can hit ‘More’ and then block the user. All emails from this user will now land in your spam. If you use another email client like Yahoo, you can learn how to block an email address on Yahoo in one easy step – click on the three dots and block the sender.
#2. Set up a group
If you frequently email a group of people, you can set up a grouping mechanism that sends their emails to different folders. This helps you manage and reply to these first and archive them once you’re done.
#3. Delete emails
Not every email that lands in your inbox is relevant. Look at the name of the sender and determine if you are interested in the content. If not, just move it to your Trash.
If you do delete an important email by accident, you can still fish it out of the Trash. But once it’s deleted from Trash, there is no way to get it back.
It may also happen that your inbox is overflowing to an extent where you cannot receive any new emails anymore. This is because you’ve reached a data limit. Instead of paying to upgrade, you can start sorting and deleting it.
Gmail also allows you to sort your inbox through advanced search. Search for a sender that has sent you a lot of emails and delete it.
Another type of email that you should delete and take no action on is phishing malware emails. These appear legitimate but pry sensitive data out of you and gain access to your website or bank account.
#4. Report emails as spam
Specific senders that have found your email and are sending you cold emails may be very spammy in that it doesn’t hold any real value for you. These senders usually email a whole list of people hoping to get some responses.
Report these emails as spam, and other emails in a similar vein will also start landing in your spam. Doing this should also secure your account.
#5. Have a set period to check your inbox
Don’t keep checking your emails every time you receive one. That is an inefficient way of dealing with your inbox. Set aside some time in the morning to only look at your emails and then again in the afternoon.
#6. Empty your Trash periodically
You should empty your Trash once a month or a week, depending on the number of emails you receive. This saves you some data limit as well.
#7. Turn off social media alerts
On Gmail, you have a tab called Social where all platforms that you’ve signed up on with that email will send you weekly digests like Twitter and Quora or notifications about everything you missed since the last time you logged in.
Not all these emails are relevant. In fact, you can completely disregard these emails and rely on in-app notifications.
To get rid of these emails from your inbox, go to every social media account you have and change your email settings.
This is definitely a tedious process but completely worth it.
#8. Start using labels
Just like having folders help keep you organized, adding a label can help you filter through your emails quickly. For instance, you can create a label – ‘To-Do’ or ‘Follow Up’ to keep track of your work. You can also color-code your labels to help you visually distinguish different emails.
#9. Defer replying to certain emails
Emails that land in your inbox do not need an immediate reply. If you can, leave it in your primary till you find time to attend to it. If you don’t like seeing an email in your inbox, you can snooze the email to a later date to deal with it then.
#10. Set up inbox rules and filters
This is probably the most important tip. Using automation to deal with emails will help create a system where you will feel more in control over your inbox. You can flag emails that solicit a service and send them straight to spam or set up a rule where a particular sender’s email gets assigned a label and a folder.
Reaching inbox zero should not necessarily be your goal. Having a manageable inbox where you’re able to stay productive without wasting all your day replying to emails is a good place to be in too.