Having an overloaded email inbox is not unlike having an overstuffed closet. Items are difficult to retrieve and time is lost trying to find the items you need, raising stress levels. When stress levels are raised it causes chemical changes in our brain, causing some areas to shut down while dealing with a stressful situation. In mildly irritating situations, such as not being able to find something you need in a timely fashion you might feel “flustered” when it seems as if the harder you try, you just can’t function and you feel like you just can’t think. This has a profound effect of our productivity and self-esteem.
Email in-boxes can rapidly become chaotic without some simple housekeeping and one very helpful app. Often times, we unwittingly sign up to receive newsletters and offers and before long our in-boxes become clogged with unwanted emails. Unroll.me is a marvelous free app to clean up your inbox. After you sign up, you will see a list of all your subscription emails. You can unsubscribe instantly from whatever you don’t want.
We also tend to keep emails in our inbox because we don’t want to lose them in archives. Creating meaningful labels for Folder’s for archived emails, not only helps with retrieval but enables you to clear items from your inbox without fear. Make your archive labels meaningful and broad. You don’t want to end up with as many folders as you have emails. For example:
- FINANCE – all statements, notifications and alerts from banks, mortgage company and credit cards.
- FAMILY & FRIENDS for all personal correspondence.
- SHOPPING – for all those order confirmations, shipping notifications etc.
Once a year, each folder should be culled to remove really old emails that you no longer need to keep. Or if that seems overwhelming, schedule one folder each month to clean up and edit. Weekly housekeeping to label and archive new emails helps to maintain a manageable inbox level.
How do you get rid of all the historical emails sitting in the inbox?
It’s easy, albeit time-consuming, but worth it.
Go to your main inbox page. In the search box, at the top, type in the name of an email subscription that you have scrolled over for ever, and hit enter. It will bring up all emails from that source. Press Select All. Scroll through to make sure that another email you want to save has not been included in the search. If one or two have, deselect them Press the trash can to delete the unwanted items. You can also archive emails in bulk in the same way. Select All, Move To (select a folder). Once you have most of the historical emails either archived or deleted, your inbox will be easier to edit line by line, until it is EMPTY!