Updated: Jan 2
We’ve all experienced that feeling. Opening our email inbox and not only seeing the mountain of emails we have to get through but staring at the old ones we wish we could get rid of.
Remember when you first opened that email account? Didn’t it feel lovely staring at a fresh, blank page? We just want to have that same feeling again, but it often feels impossible, as though there’s no time to do the work to get our inbox back to that place.
In fact, it’s not that difficult and it’s something you can work on every day during the time you already spend opening emails. This is my step-by-step guide to get your inbox back to fresh and tidy.
1. Every day, when you open your emails, open 5 messages that you have already previously read. The idea is to do this every day until you’ve been through all of them and eventually, they will no longer reside in your inbox. I say 5 to make it manageable and achievable but you can make it more or less.
2. When you open new email, decide right away what you are going to do with them. If the email is junk, don’t just delete it, unsubscribe from it. It only takes a few seconds. The unsubscribe option will either be at the top of the email or in the footer of the email. You will need to do this too with the old emails you’re going to open.
3. If you have an email that can be deleted, delete it. Don’t keep it “just in case”. It’s often very handy to keep emails so that you can go back to them as a reference point, but once you start opening older emails that you have not needed for some time, you need to let go of them and put them in the bin.
4. If for any reason you do need to keep hold of emails, use your server’s labelling system. For example, in Gmail, you can create labels for emails. Let’s say, it’s a client that has emailed you. Simply use their name as a label and then whilst in the email, click on the little x in the Inbox label to remove it from your inbox. You will still have the email in its own little folder but removed from your inbox.
That’s it. That’s all you need to do to get your way back to a tidy inbox. If you feel that getting this off to a start is too time-consuming for you, I’m going to give you a little bonus. Our one-hour free trial is currently closed however, for anyone reading this blog post who would like an inbox detox, I’m going to assign a Virtual Assistant for one hour completely free of charge to get your inbox clean-up started.
Your assistant will need your login, and then will go in and do the following (to your old emails only, unless asked, they will not open new emails):
1. Skim read the emails, any that seem to be junk will be labelled as junk for you to check through and see what you want to keep.
2. Label any recurring emails they notice might be from clients, in relation to projects, or perhaps invoices and receipts. These will be labelled appropriately and removed from the inbox.
3. Once complete, you can then check those junk emails, put any you want to keep back in your inbox, and inform your VA to unsubscribe to the rest. They will then go back in and do that for you.
We will do whatever we can in that one hour for free and hopefully, by the end of it, you will have a system in place so that new emails can start to go somewhere that isn’t your inbox.
To take advantage, simply hit the link below!