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Email Gone Wild? 5 Tips To Tame It And Show Your Inbox Who’s Boss Grrrrrrr

Michelle Dale - Monday, June 06, 2011
After a break away, and not really maintaining my personal email in the same way I do when I’m working normally, it made me realise that my Inbox seemed to have a mind of its own, and it got pretty wild in there. Having come back and evaluated its naughty behaviour, e.g. giving me lots of things to sift and sort through, which took quite a bit of time, I decided to take action and make a few changes to tame my Inbox and show it who’s the boss around here.

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.



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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.



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