Get Your Inbox Under Control in 2023
Even if getting your email under control isn’t one of your New Year’s Resolutions, you can easily make it one RIGHT NOW.
There are few things more satisfying than seeing white space at the bottom of your email inbox, letting you know you have a handle on things in at least this one part of your life. If you need a project to help you feel like you’re in control, setting yourself up for an Inbox Zero Life is the way to go!
I have an Outlook email for work, and a few personal Gmail accounts I use for different aspects of my personal life. You may need to handle the email accounts of work and personal differently (I know my work has rules about email retention), but each can benefit from a clean inbox to help get more work done more efficiently.
A cluttered inbox will only make life more frustrating. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve assisted a patron at the library (I’m a public librarian) who has to scroll through a few pages worth of emails on their phone to find the one from what turns about to be only a few days prior with the shipping label they need to print. If you have so many emails in your inbox you can’t find the ones you really need, you don’t have a functioning email inbox.
First thing you’ll want to do is archive everything that’s older than about 4 weeks. That will minimize the amount of items you’ll need to parse through. The great thing about email these days is it’s still searchable! So you’re not getting rid of any of this email completely, you’re just storing it. If you end up needing anything important from it later on, it’ll still be there. Gmail is the best at this obviously, but Outlook can pretty much do it too.
(If you want to tackle the jungle of your email archive, more power to you. But it’s not necessary, and not something to do at this point in time.)
Now scan through your email and find the BLOAT. The promotional emails with coupons or sales that have expired, or newsletters with old information. Delete them. That email is worthless now and doesn’t deserve any of your storage space. You may find this is a good time to unsubscribe from email lists that you never open, but you may also choose to unsubscribe as they find their…