Unclutter your inbox

Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in Nikki works with Elizabeth, the Professional Organizer | 0 comments

Unclutter your inbox

Is your inbox overflowing?  Here are some systems and tips to unclutter your inbox.

Nikki and Elizabeth, her Professional Organizer, have been cleaning up the backlog of emails in Nikki’s inbox.  Elizabeth has already given Nikki her first two tips, Unlisted and Unsubscribe.  Nikki has worked diligently to stop emails she doesn’t want by unsubscribing or blocking senders and has stopped giving her email address to stores.

Elizabeth’s third tip to get an inbox under control is “Unclutter.”  There are three ways to unclutter and they all start with “D.”  The first is “Delete.”

By sorting her inbox by whom the email is from Nikki can quickly delete emails she not interested in, but doesn’t want to permanently stop.  For example, she is really not interested in the ongoing discussion about a soccer rules change, but since the practice schedule comes from the same source, she doesn’t want to block the sender.

To keep her Deleted folder from getting too large, Elizabeth suggests that Nikki choose a date frame she is comfortable with to keep deleted items.  Nikki decides if she hasn’t needed a deleted email in the last three months she probably won’t.  She goes to her Deleted Items folder, sorts it by date and permanently deletes anything older.  By doing this once a month Nikki will help her email program run faster.

The second “D” is “Direct.”  Nikki says she really needs to keep some emails because they have information needed for reference or to work on a project.  However, she admits she has trouble finding them later.  Elizabeth explains to Nikki that by directing emails to folders she will put them where they will be easier to find.  Nikki creates a file for each of the kids. She makes subfolders under each child for school and each activity they participate in.  She also makes some folders labeled for work emails she forwards to her home computer.  To keep the number of items in the folders from becoming overwhelming, Elizabeth suggests that Nikki delete older ones on a regular basis.

Elizabeth’s third “D” is “Do it.”  If the action required will take two minutes or less just do it now.  Elizabeth reminds Nikki that if the response is a commitment to attend something or do a task it must be put on her calendar.  If the email needs to be kept for details or directions, Nikki can assign it to a folder and note the email’s location on her calendar as well.

Nikki’s email backlog has been eliminated by using Elizabeth’s tips to “Unlist, Unsubscribe, and Unclutter.”  The secret to keeping an inbox from getting out of hand again is to frequently “un.”


Next post:  Nikki and Elizabeth organize Nikki’s contacts.


Learn along with Nikki, as she and Elizabeth, her Professional Organizer, get organized room by room.

Copyright© 2013 Elizabeth Tawney Gross, Organizing For Everyday, LLC

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