How Clean is Your Inbox?

Ask yourself: how many emails do you get a day? Then ask yourself: how many emails of those did you want/need to get? See what I’m getting at, you probably need to start cleaning up your inbox; and filters are probably the best way to do it.

By using email filters you can automatically sort your emails into different folders where they can be sorted through or deleted when you need, instead of filling up your inbox. Trust me: it’s a HUGE productivity booster, and it makes checking your email something much more enjoyable. Not to mention it’s a really easy process to set up.

How To:

To begin, start by simply creating a couple of folders in your email. I would advise something simple like “Newsletters” and “Notifications”. If you get a lot of emails from work or if you are a college student then a “Work” and/or “College” folder might be nice too. Of course, these are just my recommendations – you can make as many or as few folders as you’d like with any names you want.

Now, go about your daily life. Every time you receive an email take a look at it and decide it’s importance. If it’s important then leave it where it is, otherwise you can consider directing all future emails of that kind into a specific folder. For example, forum notifications can "How Clean is Your Inbox?"go directly into your “Notifications” folder, newsletters your “Newsletters” folder (perhaps the newsletter, hint hint), etc.

Now because each email provider varies I can’t provide you with specific instructions on creating a filter, but generally it goes something like: You want X emails to go to Y folder (say PayPal Receipts to your “Notifications” folder). Then you copy the “from” email (in this case “[email protected]”), go to your email filters, and create one that automatically puts any email from a given address (in this example “[email protected]”) into a specific folder (in this case “Notifications”). If you run into any trouble then your best bet would be to Google “Email Filters [Email Provider Name]”, and I’m sure you’ll get it sorted out.

Bonus Tip: When going through each email (especially bulk emails) and considering where it should go, keep in mind there’s another option too: Unsubscribe. Seriously consider whether you are interested in the content of that email, and if you’re not then hit that button and rid yourself of something that keeps consuming your time.