Declutter Your Inbox
Do you ever get online and feel overwhelmed with the plethora of emails? If they were all personally hand-typed specifically for me, and not generated by a system adding names from a database, I might feel flattered. Sadly, that is usually not the case. The decluttering trend has been on everyone's radar for a while now, but do we ever bring that spirit to our online space?
Here are 3 tips to lighten your inbox.
1. Unsubscribe to a majority of the email lists you are on. This includes retail stores, newsletters, e-fliers, and the list goes on. I know this sounds daunting but you will be surprised how this sweep will create visual calm after the fact. Often times there is an "unsubscribe" or "manage my subscription" link at the bottom of the mail. Only do this if you trust the sender. If you are unsure if it's a legit entity don't click on any link, it may be a phishing scam.
If there is no unsubscribe link, go to the known website and change your subscription from there.
2. Use rules and folders. Many people already use folders but rules are just as useful. All of these recommendation are for personal accounts, not work accounts. First step is to create broad folders or "labels." For instance, I have folders designated for family and friends, for orders/purchases/receipts, for appointment reminders, and so on.
Second step is to create the rules or filters to parse mail into those folders. If you can't find where to create the filter/rules just do a quick web search with your email provider. You can either create one from scratch, or checkbox an email you want as the guinea pig and look through drop down menus for the rules/filter option.
Rule creation is pretty straightforward once you find it. There are several options depending on your needs. Most of my unimportant messages bypass the inbox and go directly into folders.
Once you are done with that see if you have the option to run the rule/filter on your inbox to organize older messages, sometimes it's just a box to check at the end of the rule. If you don't see that option, there are work-arounds. Type in a key word in the search field, like "cart" or a specific entity's name. Once you get the results, click and highlight all the applicabile messages and "move" them over to the desired folder/label.
3. Create a second e-mail account, and have that address available when stores, people, or any place you want little communication with ask you for an email address. Of course, you usually can say no, but in reality that is hard for many people. I don't recommending to make up a fake one on the spot, as tempting as it is. 1. You may actually end up needing a message they've send you at some point. 2. If the email doesn't exist they will get a bounce back and may end up trying to use other methods to reach you. 3. It's a bit shady.