This is a difficult topic for me. I didn’t want to admit it, but I have a problem. As we speak, I have over 22,000 emails in my personal inbox. My name is Jennifer and I’m the electronic equivalent of a hoarder.
There’s no shame in keeping every email since you opened your account in 2005, right? How will I remember all the important moments of my life without these food truck email receipts? This library holiday closing email from 2010 may prove important! And yes, those clothing store promotional emails from 2008 could be excellent fashion inspiration later on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who has 22,000 unread emails. I make sure to open every email because I can’t stand having unopened emails. I just have problems with deleting.
I’m certainly not going to go back and sort through those emails to find the important ones and delete the rest, but I do have a plan going forward.
Use Gmail Inbox for Better Organization
Google introduced a pretty major overhaul of the Gmail platform, introducing Gmail Inbox. And, as of very recently, you no longer need an invite to try it. If you’re the email hoarder type like me, you may have some trouble with this super-efficient app at first.
Inbox encourages you, with large top-level buttons, to take action with each email you receive. Emails are organized in the inbox screen by most recent, with new ones in bold. With each email you get, you can open it, read it and then have a choice of three options represented by three symbols: pin it (pushpin), snooze it (clock) or be done with it (checkmark).
These three options are the key to getting to a substantially more organized inbox. Pin things that you want to save, like a recipe or business meeting information. They’ll always be listed in your inbox with a small pushpin icon. Hit the clock to snooze emails that you’ll respond to later and you’ll get a choice of what time you’d like the email to reappear in your inbox (you can still access these in the snooze menu on the left panel menu). And if you’re done with an email, click the checkmark and whoosh! it disappears from your inbox straight to the Internethersphere. Actually, it goes to your Done box, which you can access on the left panel menu.
Additionally, Inbox sorts your emails into categories. You can easily access flight information (under trips), purchases, finances, promotions, social and forums all in simple bundled groups.
You can still delete any emails you don’t need, but this option is great for email hoarders since it gives us an easier way to organize our emails without having to delete. If you prefer deleting, that’s still available in the three dotted lines on the top right of the email.
Inbox is available on both mobile and desktop, while the classic Gmail is sticking around for those who still prefer it.
Unsubscribe! Unsubscribe! Unsubscribe!
Do it, it’s so satisfying. This is one thing I keep up on, because, since I make an effort to open every one of my emails, it wastes my time to open unnecessary emails. You’ll usually find the unsubscribe link in small footer text at the bottom of the email; it will link you to a page in which you can either choose frequency of emails or to be removed entirely. According to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, unsubscribe links must be visible and a business must unsubscribe your email within 10 days.
Take 15 minutes right now and go through your inbox, locating these unwanted emails and unsubscribe. Going forward, unsubscribe from these emails each time you get one in your email box. Then celebrate. Take THAT daily I-can’t-afford-you-anyway West Elm email!
If you don’t care to do this task yourself, try Unroll Me.
By limiting the amount of emails you get and using a program that easily sorts emails into organized locations, you can work on achieving a better email life. Do you have email productivity tips you want to share? Leave comments in the field below.