1. Set Them Free
I clicked unsubscribe on all the feeds and newsletters which I didn’t read, find useful or were irrelevant to my virtual assistant business and life. This has decreased my incoming mail considerably, and I am still unsubscribing over a week later.
2. Stop The Breeding
I turned off the auto-archive which automatically skipped my Inbox and archived certain things, allowing them to build up, why I was doing that I will never know… So now it comes into the Inbox and I am working out what to do with them, unsubscribing a lot and forwarding, replying very politely telling people they don’t need to email me again about that particular topic, or forwarding to a more appropriate person.
3. Put Your Emails In Cages
I have refined all of my folders and filters, so the emails I do want to keep are in proper order and easy to find. I have ditched all the old ones I don’t need anymore, properly colour coded the filters and things are looking a lot tidier in there.
4. Muck Out The Cage
I cleared out and deleted pretty much everything older than 6 months, didn’t need and wasn’t using, I am really one of those “keep that just in case” types of people, but it’s a little extreme when they start going back for years…. I also emptied my spam folder which I hadn’t done for ages. I am doing that daily now.
5. Check On It Once To Twice Daily
I am restricting the number of times I check my email and also the time I take to reply, sticking to the nitty gritty. I am also deleting those silly chain mail emails, the “pass this on” ones…. You know, with pictures of monkeys that have captions on them and things like that. I also found among other things a 3 year old coupon code for pampers… Yikes…
And there you have it, my “5 top tips” for when you need to seriously tame your Inbox. I really hadn’t noticed how bad it was until I stopped maintaining it for a little while, but by doing this, it has reduced the time I spend on my personal email considerably, and also refined certain things in my online business too.
One thing I have kept is my away find, that’s always a very useful thing to have.