Do you find yourself constantly in your inbox trying to get everything done? If so, you aren’t alone. Reports show that 24% of all Americans believe they check their email too much.
The question is, can you do anything to streamline the email process?
If email is a struggle for you, it pays to know how to clear your email inbox. Keep reading to learn how to clean up your email inbox, so you don’t have to waste more time than necessary digging through your email.
1. Archive Old Emails
One of the most significant issues people face when going through emails is having an inbox with thousands of emails. People don’t do anything with their email when they read it and take action. That leads to a cluttered inbox that’s challenging to find anything in.
You can avoid this issue by archiving emails you don’t need anymore. Keep anything around that you still need to take action. For everything else, hit the archive button and move it out of sight.
2. Use Search Filters
If you need to archive many emails, the chances are good that it will be challenging to find something if you ever need to dig into your past conversations. Most people have issues finding what they want because there are so many things in the archives.
However, most email clients provide functionality that can help. Many people aren’t aware that these applications offer search filters that will help you narrow down your searches. Learn what flags you can add to your search queries to spend less time looking through your past emails.
Each application has a different syntax, so you’ll need to learn the unique filters to the app you use.
3. Clean Up Your Subscriptions
It won’t be surprising if many of your emails come from newsletters. Whether it’s a software product you register with or things you sign up for on your own, every newsletter in your inbox takes up space you can’t afford to give up.
Go through your current subscriptions to figure out which ones you need and which ones you don’t. If you want to keep an email subscription, make sure it provides real value to you. For everything else, click unsubscribe.
There are also apps out there that let you mass unsubscribe from emails. It will scan your email, pick out all your subscriptions, and let you pick and choose which newsletters to keep.
4. Create Email Filters
Many people make the mistake of manually categorizing their emails themselves. While this can create the appearance of a more tidy inbox, it also wastes a lot of time. The chances are good you can better spend that time on other tasks.
A great email decluttering tool you can use is an email filter. Every filter you set up will automatically move your emails to the correct folders. You can think about your most important emails and create a filter to make them stand out.
Doing this will help you focus on the email that matters most. You can always check your other email folders after you finish your most important work.
5. Snooze Emails
One big problem people have with emails is seeing many unread notifications and not knowing where to start. If you want to take care of some of your unread emails later, you can put them off until a later date.
That’s where the snooze feature in email clients helps. Instead of seeing all your unread emails at once, you can snooze the ones you don’t want to read yet. Doing this will help you focus on a smaller subset of your unread emails and deal with less critical emails at a later date.
Most snooze applications let you decide how long to snooze emails. Pick the time that works best for you and the priority of the email getting snoozed.
6. Move Email Tasks To An Application
Many people use email as a to-do list. They keep a bunch of unnecessary emails around because they contain tasks for them to do. This isn’t only unhelpful for your productivity, but it also clogs your inbox.
One of the best ways to clean out your inbox is to send those tasks to other productivity apps. Many to-do list applications let you forward emails to the app and automatically set up a task for that email. From there, you can archive the email in your inbox and use a dedicated to-do list application to work.
The same is true for events. Instead of holding onto event emails, create events in a calendar and remove the event email.
7. Mark Emails As Important
You don’t need to treat all emails equally. Some emails you get aren’t valuable and need to be treated as such. The question is, do you have a system in place to mark emails as important?
Most email programs allow you to mark important emails. When scanning new emails and finding the stuff you need to focus on, look for the critical checkmark. Make sure you use this to signal that something is important and needs your continued attention.
Another great strategy is to filter your essential emails into their own folder. Doing this gives you one place to see the emails you need to revisit.
Now You Know How To Clear Your Email Inbox
You can’t afford to spend more time than necessary in your email inbox. Much of your time in there is better spent on more critical work. However, now that you know how to clear your email inbox, you’re ready to get to inbox zero and keep your email clear.
Do you want to learn more tips that will help you be more effective during the workday? Head back to the blog to discover our latest productivity tips.