How to Organize Your Email Inbox

You need to deal with emails. Don’t let them pile up in your inbox. Letting the emails sit there may cause overwhelm. I will share some tips on how I, as a virtual assistant,  organize my client’s emails. It doesn’t matter whether you use Gmail, Outlook, or another email service for these tips.

To get started with organizing your inbox, you want to get rid of unwanted emails. This is a long-term project. Don’t feel defeated before you start. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting. 

Organize your email inbox so it works for you

How to organize your email effectively? Delete all emails you will never need to reference again. This includes things like promotions, junk email, and newsletters you are no longer interested in. You should be able to unsubscribe to unwanted emails. For example, maybe you subscribed to a newsletter to get a freebie, and you’re no longer interested in the person’s content.  

After you’ve deleted all unwanted emails, you’ll want to create folders or labels. The emails you want to keep will all have somewhere to go. You may want to have folders such as finances, family/friends, work, passwords, and newsletters. For each folder, you may want subcategories. For example, most people will find it beneficial to break down work into smaller categories. 

Organization is essential for keeping up with your email.

Next, you would want to put all the remaining emails into the correct folder. This is how you’ll be able to find an email for future reference. From now on, when you get an email, immediately put it in a folder or label it unless it requires an action from you. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to this step. 

Some emails require responses or action. The best way to do this is to set time aside each day to respond to emails. Try to dedicate 15-30 minutes a day to respond to emails. Then, after you respond or take the required action, you can place the email in a folder. If you automatically place the email in a folder, you may forget it exists, so leave those emails in your regular inbox. 

Now your inbox should only house emails that require action. Everything else should be automatically filed away. 

Here are the four steps to organizing your email: 

  1. Delete all unwanted emails.
  2. Create folders or labels.
  3. Place remaining emails in the folders.
  4. Spend dedicated time taking action on emails and then file them away.

If you follow these steps consistently, you can get your email organized and on your way to inbox zero (nothing in your inbox) or at least you will have a clutter-free inbox. You need to be able to find emails easily and quickly. It’s almost impossible to keep up with emails without a good system that you can use on the fly.

These are the perfect steps to get you started on organizing your email.

Although these are simply four steps, they can be challenging to implement consistently because we don’t like to throw anything away, including emails. We fear throwing out a valuable resource that we think may help us in the future.

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