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There is no magic necessary when it comes to minimising your email clutter, a couple of quick one-off cheats, and a daily tweak here and there will have you well on your way to an organised inbox.
Pulling in the reins on your inbox – email management:
If your inbox is hanging on to an unflatteringly huge amount of outdated mail, and this amount will differ from user to user, here’s how to get started:
1. How much is enough?
From your inbox, glance over at the bottom left of your screen and see how many emails are actually in your inbox at this very moment. Be less interested in the unread ones for now; it’s the total that I’m curious about. Now if this number, (be it 20 or 20 000), gets your tummy in a flutter (in a bad way), it is time to determine what should be your inbox capacity.
2. Once off quick cheat
Even a retired beach bum’s time is too valuable to sift through tens/hundreds/thousands of emails, so I’d recommend that you don’t waste any of yours. Simply create a folder called: ‘Old Inbox’
Highlight all email, read or unread, from three months prior to today’s date and drag and drop them from your inbox into this ‘old inbox’ folder
3. Sort what’s left
Now that your inbox is looking more manageable you can activate your right reading pane, arrange your inbox by ‘from’ by right clicking on the blue line directly above the first email in your inbox and starting from the bottom up, using the acronym FAD (file – action – delete), delete or drag and drop emails into your filing folders, calendar or tasks.
4. Set up a maintenance routine
From this day forward, or until email management is a distant memory like vinyl records and milk bought with coupons, towards the end of every work day, glance over to check how many mails are in your inbox to help keep you in tow. Immediately bring things back to your ‘normal’ before you have an imminent inbox explosion.
Apply FAD each time you check email.
Schedule to check email (read/respond/delete) at only 3-4 specific intervals during the day.
So the trick to email management is in doing a little, a lot of the time instead of a lot, a little of the time. You want to take control of your inbox and then keep it that way. Go on, I know you want to.