Productivity

Declutter Your Inbox In 5 Minutes

Anyone else have an email inbox that goes on for days? When I first started my job a year and a half ago, our email was being hosted by the slowest server known to man (*cough* GoDaddy *cough*). It look at least five minutes to delete an email, and there was no hope of ever moving anything into another folder. Talk about #firstworldproblems. How to get your email inbox down to zero in five minutes and keep it that way!Now that we’ve upgraded servers, I’ve realized that my inbox ain’t looking so great. I basically have a mini panic attack every time I open Outlook.

Though it’s difficult to manage the hundreds of emails that come flying at us these days, there are a few ways you can declutter your inbox – and luckily they only take five minutes!

Turn off desktop notifications.

This is less to declutter and more for your own sanity. Check your email because you have time, not because you feel pressured when you hear that ‘ding’. If you use Outlook, go to File > Options > Mail > Message Arrival > Display a Desktop Alert, and turn that sucker off.

Delete emails from 6 months ago or prior.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you don’t need these anymore.

Create a ‘Follow-Up’ folder.

Move everything from your inbox into this folder. Get into the habit of checking this everyday, or maybe once at the beginning of the week to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks.

Delete emails after you’ve responded.

Or move them to your Follow-Up folder/another appropriate folder. You’ve already dealt with it so there’s no need to leave it sitting around.

Start creating folders if you don’t already.

Create one folder a day if doing a bunch at once is daunting and slowly move items out of your inbox into these folders. It’ll probably only take 5 minutes once you start.

Woohoo, now you should have a clean inbox! Do you have any tricks for keeping your emails organized?

Photo: Nicola Holtkamp

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Catherine Beard
Hi, I'm Catherine! The Blissful Mind is your guide to being the calmest, healthiest, most productive version of yourself. Whether you're trying to slow down, de-stress, or feel more content, I’m here to help make life a little less complicated.

1 Comment

  1. Have you tried the new Google Inbox? Its supposed to help you with decluttering, I personally don’t find it too useful for my personal needs but can see it being helpful for others.

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