Monday, January 16, 2012

Avoid Email Inbox Overload

Why do you have over 28,000 emails in your inbox?
Yeah, I know (signing). And I have 28 open!
We need to declutter your inbox.
I recently was helping a colleague on a presentation and noticed that she had over 28,000 in her Outlook inbox! I was shocked and wondered how she could allow her inbox to become so cluttered. Her inbox was out of control and taking control of her. This told me the following:
  • She never empties her inbox.
  • She will look at an email, but won't delete it or move it to a folder.
  • She does not have ample folders to store necessary emails.
  • She has a lot of spam or unnecessary emails.
Here are some suggestions to de-clutter and organize your inbox :

  1. Create folders for important or relevant emails. I have a 'follow-up' and 'to do' folder. If the email is one that required a response and needs a follow-up, I store it in the' follow-up folder.' It is also helpful to date the 'follow-up' folder so that you know when the last time was you reviewed it. For example, the folder is named, 'follow-up 011412.' This means that the last time I checked the folder was January 14, 2012. The next time you check the folder or delete an email change the date.
  2. Re-evaluate your subscriptions and newsletters received. Perhaps it's time to unsubscribe to a mailing list.
  3. Have newsletters and electronic subscriptions automatically moved to a folder. In Outlook, you can designate specific emails to automatically be moved to a folder when received.
  4. When you respond to an email, delete it from your inbox and if follow-up is required, move the email sent to the 'follow-up' folder.
To others a courtesy and think about the kind of message you are sending so that they too can keep their inbox free of email overload.

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