Dealing with Email Clutter

May 3, 2013
My emails are out of control. There, I said it. 

I have 4 different email addresses and my main email alone, has over 452 pages of messages in my inbox dating back to 2004! Clearly, I need to do something.

So here is my strategy for decluttering my email, one inbox at a time.

1) Delete all unwanted messages. 

Since I have soooo many, I've decided that this is one of those tedious tasks that needs to be done little by little. 

I plan to delete as many as I can every day until I'm done. I'm guessing this will take me about a week or two. It helps that I can use my phone and/or tablet to do this so I don't have to be tied to a desktop computer.

2) Decide what to do with old email attachments

I have a lot of emails with photos and other files attached to them. I'll need to decide if I want to download the attachments and store them on my computer, or delete them altogether.

3) Make Better Use of Folders

I use Yahoo for my main email and there is a feature which allows me to create folders for organization. I already had some from before, but they no longer fit my needs so I have redo them.

Creating email folders is optional, but I find them useful for keeping messages that I don't want cluttering up my inbox. For example, I use folders for storing website registration information and online shopping receipts.

4) Review and update subscriptions and notifications

A big contributor to email clutter are subscriptions or notification emails from various websites. I'm going to go through these types of messages and cancel any email subscriptions that I'm no longer interested in, and update the email notifications for the various websites where I'm registered. 

5) Maintenance

Once I'm done with the first three steps, I'll need a way to maintain a relatively clutter free email inbox. I think an efficient way to do this is:

  • Read message
  • Deal with it as soon as possible
  • Delete message or if I want to keep it, store it in an appropriate folder.

Wish me luck! Is your email as cluttered as mine??
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