Email Hacks That Will Stop Your Inbox From Becoming A Hellish Mess

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Email Hacks That Will Stop Your Inbox From Becoming A Hellish Mess

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Not to freak you out or anything, but your inbox is probably piling up as you read this. I know the feeling - watching emails roll in and then the shouty MAILBOX IS FULL error message. Bore off. Here's some tips on how to keep your inbox under control for longer than a millionth of a second and become all organised and productive and stuff, because that's what adults do.


Let's start slow. Remember that Bird Sanctuary newsletter you signed up to last summer after your totally cultural day at the, um, Bird Sanctuary? I'm betting you don't care about that anymore so do yourself a favour and hit the unsubscribe. The birds will be fine, I promise. The same goes for social media notifications - you don't need an email every time someone Tweets you, which we know is *all the time *obv, so change your account preferences.

File file file

Email folders are handing for keeping important stuff on file, but don't make thousands of them and use them as an excuse to stuff all your 'wtf should I do with this' emails in one place. Keep it to five maximum, otherwise you won't use them.

Colour code that shit

Like me, you've probably tried (and failed) at colour coding everything because, well, it's a bit silly. Try a 'traffic light' system instead - red for 'do this ASAP', orange for 'kind of important', and green for 'this can wait until later' (not six months later, though). This way you can filter your inbox by category/colour and go through them in order of urgency. If you don't fancy this, go retro and red flag the important ones to revisit at the end of the day so they're not lingering the next morning.

It's all about timing

How annoying are those pop-ups saying 'you've got mail'? Yeah. Really annoying (and distracting), so get rid. Instead, schedule time slots through the day of when to check your emails and spend that time deleting/replying/filing the email's you've received. Try and take 'action' on every email when you do check them, don't just read them and leave them - that's what got you here.

Be cut throat

I'm an email (and general) hoarder and my inbox is proof. It's pretty simple - delete those months old emails because you don't need them. Trust me. If there's an attachment that you really do think you might need, save it on your computer instead. On some email systems, like Outlook, you don't need to keep every single email in a convo because the most recent one will show the whole thread, so delete the rest.

Your inbox is not a 'To Do' list

It's easy to keep email's that don't serve any purpose apart from to remind you to do something else so just write an actual to do list instead. This 'Things To Do' Pukka Pad will sort you right out.

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Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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