Get Organized: Simple Ways to Declutter Your Inbox

If you, like me, get tons of emails everyday then you understand how hard it can be to sort through them. You might read an email and forget to respond, then spend the next two days trying to find it in your inbox because you have received 200 emails since then. It is easy to get lost when your email isn’t organized. Many of the large email providers are trying to make it “easier” by pre sorting your email into categories. This usually means you are hunting through not 1 list, but 3 trying to figure out where you last saw the email you need.

Don’t let your emails get buried in your inbox anymore. Instead let No-IP help you get organized! We have come up with some easy ways to manage your mail to ensure your inbox is always at 0.

File, File, File
Think of your email as an online filing cabinet and organize it as such. Create a series of folders with categories that will encompass at least 80% of your current emails. This could range from work categories such as “vendors” and “payroll”, to your personal categories like “Amazon orders” and “school”.

First, figure out where the bulk of your emails come from to ensure you are creating the most effective categories. Once you have created your main categories you can create subfolders in each category if necessary. If you have a payroll folder, it might be helpful to break payroll down by department. If you have a folder for school related emails, you can break it down by class. Doing this will make finding emails down the road much easier.

Once you have created your folders, start putting your emails into their appropriate categories. (Yes, this might be time consuming, but well worth it.) If you find while sorting that you need another category, create another folder. You can have as many or as few folders as you think is necessary.

Think about creating folders in your email, like you would in your filing cabinet. You have your vendors sorted by company name, your bills sorted by category and your payroll sorted by department or pay period. If you get 1 or more emails a week that can fit into a category, create a folder.

Note: DO NOT file an email until you have performed an action on it. That could mean you wrote back to your professor or paid your gas bill. If you file it too early you could forget to perform the action. And that could effect your grade on that last term paper or your heat in your home.

Trash It
Once you have started filing your emails, you can decided which ones need to be deleted. Rule of thumb says if you haven’t touched the email in more than 30 days, it can go. Now that being said, you might want to keep certain older emails for record purposes, this could be a contract for a job, or an old school paper to keep on file. What you toss and what you keep is up to you.

If you have filed all your messages into their categories and your inbox still has emails, there is a good chance these need to be tossed. If they didn’t fit into a category they are more than likely advertisements or emails you get regularly from websites you follow or stores you shop at. Unless you want to keep every LivingSocial offer you have ever gotten, I suggest you move them to the trash.

Pro Tip: After the main email purge look into your folders every few months and delete any unwanted emails. This will keep the number of emails in each file down and easier to sort through.

Keep it Organized
Now that you have taken the time to clean up your inbox, keep it that way. Check your emails daily, file them appropriately and delete immediately anything you don’t want to keep. If you get emails sent to you regularly that you don’t need to view, or perform an action on, but you want to keep, set up a filter. This will allow you to choose emails by sender, subject line or recipient and have them sent to a specific folder. For example, if you auto pay all your utilities, you can have them sent directly to your bills folder. This way you can review the bills on your own timeline, while keeping your inbox clean. Learn how to set filters for Outlook, Gmail and Mac by clicking the links.

Be Accountable
The last and most important step to making sure you keep your inbox at 0, is to keep yourself accountable. Make a reminder every week, if not every day, to check your email. Then spend a little time responding to and filing any emails you haven’t reviewed. Setting aside 15 or 20 minutes one day a week will allow you the time to focus on the emails that may not have been as important and are still in your inbox. It can take only a few short days for your inbox to become seemingly unmanageable again, so make checking it a priority!

It can be hard to stay organized in the fast paced world we live in. And even if you can’t have organization in all aspects of your life, you can keep your inbox clean and manageable. So get to filing and remember to keep your No-IP emails safe and sorted! Last thing you want to do is miss your 30 day host confirmation email.