Keeping a clean inbox isn’t as difficult as you might think, but it does require some effort to put a few tips in place. Email management is a necessary part of doing business in the digital age.
Here’s how to Clean Up Your Email Inbox
- To find emails, use the Search tool. Once you’ve established a basic structure, spend some time locating important emails and categorizing them in your new system. You can look up contacts, attachment types, subject lines, and even keywords.
- Create categories or folders for your account. Setting up categories based on topics, projects, senders, or subjects that you deal with regularly is the quickest way to organize your inbox. Right-click the Categories field in Outlook and select from the many options — colors, titles, and statuses — or create your own.
- After you’ve organized your emails, archive them. This is yet another simple method for clearing out your inbox. Select individual emails or entire categories, then click Archive in the top navigation bar to save the messages but remove them from your inbox view.
- Put in place automatic filing and/or rules. This converts a manual task into an automated one, saving you time. Click on Move To to create rules that will direct future email to a specific folder. Even better, you can set up an Important or Critical rule that sends only messages that you deem necessary for day-to-day operations to your inbox, while sending the rest to a folder to be checked later.
Make sure your mobile email is properly synced to your primary account. According to some estimates, checking, reading, and responding to email accounts for 20% of the time we spend on our smartphones. As a result, having a properly synced account is critical for doing work on the go.