Email De-clutterOne of my friends asked me to look at something on her computer the other day and before I could focus on what she was trying to show me I couldn’t help but notice the number of unread emails she had.  I asked her, “How in the world could anyone’s email get that far out of control?”

Like she always does, she gave me a smart aleck comment and told me to pay attention. So I did, but as soon as she was done, I had to go back to that ridiculous number of unread emails.  She explained to me how easy it is to lose control of your emails, especially if you have multiple accounts. She said that just one day away from the office can wreak havoc on someone’s email account.

I understood exactly what she meant because I use to struggle with trying to keep up with all my emails but my unread number never reached four digits. Here are some of the tips I gave my friend to help her de-clutter her inbox.


Since the email my friend was showing me was on her Gmail account, I told her to consider using Priority Inbox.  Because she gets so many emails every day, it takes her a while to filter through the ones that she’s not going to read and get to the important ones.  Priority Inbox allows users to place important emails in one place and ones that are not so important in another place.

Designated Times

Rome wasn’t built in a day and she’s probably not going to completely de-clutter her inbox in one day either.  I told her to spend a little time chipping away at it every day and set up certain times throughout the day to check her emails.  What I recommend is checking your emails first thing in the morning, before lunch, after lunch and before the end of day.  Depending on the number of emails a person gets per day, they may need to have even more designated times.  This probably isn’t news to anyone but the problem comes in when the action is not implemented.

Unsubscribe and Delete

The last thing I told my buddy to do was to use her delete button like her life depended on it.  Marketers have gotten really crafty with their content and it makes us want to opt-in for their free offers.  This is a great thing for them but it can be chaotic for a consumer’s email especially if there’s not substance to the message.  Before you know it you’ll have a few dozen emails coming in from companies that you have no interest in.  After some time you won’t even remember why you subscribed in the first place, but you did and now you are being spammed with a bunch of stuff you care nothing about.

This may be the biggest problem for most people dealing with cluttered email accounts.  So set aside some time to go through and unsubscribe from those senders that you’re no longer interested in receiving emails from.  As soon as you’re done, have a delete party.  Click that little select all box in the top left corner of your screen and put that delete button to work.

By the way, I didn’t tell her this to her face.  I sent her an email, lol.