Having thousands of unopened and invalid emails in your mailbox is a familiar problem to many of us. A couple of hundred unanswered inquiries are relatively easy to handle, but once those new emails start going into the thousands, it may feel like you are loosing control. No matter how overwhelmed you might become with your crowded inbox, there is always a way to sort it out. Below you’ll find some of the best tips on how to maintain your mailbox more effectively.
1. Avoid organising your inbox using labels
One of the most common pieces of advice people receive when looking to declutter their inbox is to organize their incoming messages using the “label” or a similar filing function. Although this may work for messages in small volumes, anyone who receives a few hundred emails daily will quickly discover that this is a highly inefficient strategy.
According to the Harvard Business Review, sorting your inbox like this, wastes an average of 14 minutes per day and is 9% slower than simply searching for specific messages using keywords. Furthermore, this can take up 10% of your total workday – quite a backfire against the desired productivity.
2. Try not to use your mail as a to-do list
It is common for people to leave unopened emails in their inbox as a way of “reminding” themselves of what still needs to be done. According to the 500ish, this habit ends up filling up 50-75% of your inbox with less-than-useful information that could be stored elsewhere.
3. Unsubscribe from unwanted subscriptions
It may seem like a good idea to subscribe to a few mailing lists but they quickly fill up your inbox with clutter. Before you start deleting messages, check your subscriptions and see which ones you can get rid of.
If there are too many subscriptions to get control of, you’re not out of luck. Install an app such as Unroll Me, and the software will filter through your inbox and remove irrelevant messages with no hassle. Once these communications have stopped, you can get started on deleting anything older than 30 days.