KM_EmailSpringClean-01

It’s that time of year again! The grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and the birds are chirping. Yes, it’s Spring again! And with the new season comes new beginnings, and the perfect time to get set before the summer is upon us! And what’s the ultimate key to keeping your workplace in order and running successfully? An organized email! Here are five of our favorite steps to tackle that inbox once and for all!

Delete Your Old Account

We all have that old Hotmail account from the days when Myspace was dominating the social media scene. And let’s be honest, at this point, it has likely become the place where promotional emails go to die. But who doesn’t roll their eyes every time they need to reset a password and have to log back into that account. Go through the things sent there, looking for any crucial accounts, and switch them to your current email. Not only does this simplify your digital landscape, but it also makes it easier to unsubscribe from those old promo emails if you’re using a mail client like Gmail or Outlook.

Block that Junk

Sometimes, hitting unsubscribe isn’t enough or doesn’t work. Well then, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. It’s time to block that junk mail. Before you go through and block everything you wish you weren’t getting daily emails from, be thoughtful about the process. If it’s a store that doesn’t respect your boundaries when you unsubscribe but you are still making purchases from them, you likely need to avoid blocking them. Otherwise, you won’t receive order receipts and tracking notifications from them. Best, in that case, to double-check that you did the unsubscribe process correctly, sometimes they can make it tricky and a multistep process.

Prioritize with Folders

Getting your email organized for ultimate efficiency is likely more manageable than you think! Consider something like the Priority Matrix from Steven Covey, where items can be categorized by important, unimportant, urgent, and not urgent. You can take that method and apply it to your inbox using those headers (‘do first,’ ‘schedule,’ ‘delegate,’ and ‘avoid’ are examples, but most people have their own wording) as titles for email folders. The second an email comes to your primary inbox, move it to the appropriate folder. If you are more deadline-oriented, labels like ‘today,’ ‘tomorrow,’ ‘this week,’ and ‘by the end of the month’ will likely speak to your mindset more.

Filters, Filters, Filters

Do you get a lot of emails from the same sender or specific theme? Perhaps you don’t need them to be prioritized but want to keep them organized together. Then it’s likely time to automate their filing using filters. Collecting the promo emails you wish to keep, for example, allows you to go and look at those emails when you’re curious if any sales are happening. Newsletters, social media notifications, and all those chain emails your grandma still sends you, are all other excellent auto filtering options.

Start from Scratch

Still, a little overwhelmed by this process and your inbox? Here’s a crazy idea… move all 1,482,523 emails to an organizing folder. Then you can start fresh that week with your new system. Whenever you have downtime, revisit that folder. Start from the bottom (or the oldest email) and work your way up, likely if an email is 5+ years old, you don’t need it anymore, or at the very least, you don’t need it in your inbox. Don’t forget to file anything significant from the last month before moving it to the organizing folder, or be sure to go and place those back into the inbox for sorting with incoming emails.