How to Organize Your E-mail

What is the state of your e-mail inbox?  If you’re like most people, your inbox is full of hundreds (or even thousands) of emails that you’re unlikely to ever even look at again.  How easy is it for you to find an email that you need?  Are you able to find it right away, or do you have to spend fifteen minutes wading through spam before you find what you’re looking for?  If your email inbox is out of control, then it’s time to make a change.  Here are some tips to help you get organized:

Don’t store e-mail in your inbox.  You should not be using your inbox for storage.  Once you read an email, either deal with it immediately or store it in a folder.

Deal with spam.  When you’re trying to keep your email organized, spam can be one of your biggest obstacles.  Turn the security setting on your e-mail to high.  If you are still getting a lot of spam, you may want to invest in a stronger spam blocker.  Just make sure that you check your junk mail regularly to ensure that you aren’t screening out emails that you want to keep.

Cancel e-mail subscriptions that you don’t read.  Do you really need a daily email from your local pizza store?  Are you ever going to respond to the offers from the salon that you visited once three years ago?  Email subscriptions are notorious for clogging up your inbox, especially when you are on ten or twenty lists.  Email them and ask them to stop sending you their promotional material.

Use tools to make your life easier.  Within your email system, there are probably tools that you can be using to help you keep organized.  Find out what tools are available and make use of them.  For example, with most systems, you can label emails to easily categorize and find them and you can make rules and create filters so that a lot of the organizing is automatically done for you.

Being organized takes work.  You will need to set aside a chunk of time to get yourself on the right track and after that you will have to devote ten to fifteen minutes every day to keep it that way.  While this may initially feel like a big investment, it will help you be more organized in your work, and it will save you time when you don’t have to spend twenty-five minutes every time you need to find an email.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo from: Stuart Miles/


One thought on “How to Organize Your E-mail

  1. Jeannie October 24, 2014 / 8:48 am

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