Organizing Tip: Email Spring Cleaning

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Yesterday was the first day of spring and what did my mind turn to but…helping people with their daily barrage of emails! Here’s a few quick tips:

Clean Beyond the Inbox

Your inbox shouldn’t get all the love. Don’t forget to clean out those other email folders that are often forgotten about: “drafts,” “junk mail,” and also “sent items.” When it comes to cleaning out the “sent items” folder, you might be surprised at how many old emails are just sitting there! Sort emails by sender for quicker processing and deletion.

Switch to RSS Feeds Instead of Email Alerts

Have a favorite website or blog that you want to receive updated information from but don’t want to be bothered with a new email in your inbox every time something new is added/updated? RSS (or Really Simple Syndication) feeds are, well, really easy and simple to set up. They allow you to read and digest new content when you want to deal with it; kinda like browsing a magazine on your downtime instead of looking at an article or ad every hour, on the hour. Subscribe to RSS feeds either email, so they go directly to an RSS folder in your email program (and not your inbox) or a separate RSS feeder.

Transfer Information in Emails Appropriately

If you’ve been saving emails because they are chock full of information, why not integrate this information into other places where data is stored? Save contact info to your address book, mark down special dates in a calendar, save photos, images, PDFs and other documents to your local drive or cloud; you can then delete emails without worry.

Set up Email Rules

Set up automatic email rules to sort emails from anything from senders, to date, subject, time, etc. into specific files so that you can focus on those emails when you are ready and not have them gunk up your inbox. You can even set up rules to schedule deletion of emails (caution: use carefully!).

Want more email help? Check out some of my other posts:

Organizing Tip: Organizing and Maintaining Emails
Organizing Tip: Cleaning Out Email Messages
Organizing Tip: Bringing Order to Email Writing

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.