Thursday, January 26, 2012

Organizing your email inbox

I have had many people tell me lately that they have hundreds of emails in their inbox. Does this sound familiar? If so, here are some ways to organize your email inbox quickly and easily. Your inbox should only contain emails that haven’t been read or require immediate action and response. All other emails should be either deleted or saved in a folder.

Like your filing cabinet, you should have 5-6 broad category folders in your inbox. If you make too many, you will forget where you put things, so keep them general like household, vacation, school, soccer, etc. Once you have these folders set up, you need to store emails accordingly. When I say store, I don’t mean every email you get. Only keep that which has pertinent info. And if you have a series of emails going back and forth with someone, only keep the last one since you can just scroll down to read the entire conversation.

Once you have your inbox cleared out, get in the practice of keeping it that way. When new email comes through, read it and delete what you can. Respond to the rest and move what you can to the appropriate folder. If the email requires something immediate like an RSVP or information returned, let the email sit in the inbox until you can get it done.

Keeping your inbox cleaned out will help you to avoid losing emails, forgetting to respond to emails and keep you from having to search through hundreds to emails to find what you are looking for.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

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