Spring Cleaning Your Email Inbox

Spring Cleaning Your Email Inbox

You probably don’t know this about me but I am Monica… from F.R.I.E.N.D.S… no, I don’t think I’m actually Courtney Cox’s late 90s/early 2000s alter ego… but I am a bit of a clean freak. While spring is almost over, an organized lifestyle never goes out of style.

Yes, I really just said that.

So today I thought we would spring clean our email. Here is the thing, we constantly use our email. I know I look at my 2 primary email accounts several times a day but no matter what I do it doesn’t seem to get empty. Today I’m going to share with you some tips for making your email spring clean year around.

Purge, Purge, Purge!

Do you manually go into your email on an actual desktop and mass delete things every so often? That’s a sign you probably don’t need those things in your email.

  1. Alter Your Subscription

You do not need to get an email from Refinery29 every day. Sorry, not sorry. If a company is emailing you every day chances are they are slightly redundant or useless. I know you may love your celebrity gossip or really want to know “The 5 trends you need to let go,” but that is a waste of your time. Most major companies and media outlets allow you to customize the frequency of the emails you receive from them, reduce this to monthly or weekly or monthly.

Delete those emails you opened, glanced at and said, “Oh I really want to read that story later!” It’s been 6 months..later has come and gone!

  1. Unsubscribe

You know that contest for that trip to Miami you entered 6 months ago on your favorite website? Remember after you entered (and didn’t win) you started getting emails from the 4 other trip sponsors, like every damn day? Yeah, unsubscribe! This may seem bad but it really isn’t. Think of it this way, most automatic mail services charge users when they hit a certain amount of subscribers on their list, so by staying on their list you are kind of wasting their money. Do both of yourselves a favor and unsubscribe.

  1. Find Your Organization Style 
  • Create folders for organization.

I am a huge advocate of keeping documentation from transactions, bill payments, important digital conversations and sometimes just emails from friends in other countries.  You don’t have to kill a football field worth of trees to keep track of these just make folders. Create inbox folders to keep your “paperwork”  A folder for bills and payments. You can either use one folder for all or make folders for the specific company so you can easily find them.

  • Another way to keep this organized is to keep your bill payment information on a spreadsheet.  (I have an awesome one I use myself here for you.)
  • Print your files to PDF and save them on an external hard drive or on Google Drive.
  1. Treat your email address with the respect it deserves.

Don’t just give it to every Tammy, Danni, and Hilary. I have multiple email address, one for me day job, one for personal use, one for my blog and one for the business/technical side of my blog (think domaine recipes, company sponsorships, instead of blogger to blogger communication) but I don’t have all of these on my phone, or check them at the same frequency so some email address I’m more willing to share than others. Do you really want emails from Home Depot and emails from your childhood friend overseas to have to fight for your attention and inbox space? The truth is you may just delete the certain email and don’t think about it as a huge hassle but it’s easy for things to get lost or overlooked when your inbox is too crowded.

  1. Mark Spam as Spam

Even the best spam filters let things slide. If you see anything fishy go ahead and mark it as spam, then delete it. Deleting it isn’t always  enough to make your email server register it as spam.

Take an hour to do this and your inbox will become a less stressful placce.

How do you keep your email intact? What is the biggest inbox nuisance for you?

If you are interested in keeping your bills in order without crowding you inbox then check out my Bill Tracker Worksheet. It helps you keep things organized and simple.

Get it here:

Bill Tracker Worksheet

 

64 comments

  1. Katie

    I am TERRIBLE about unsubscribing from emails. I’ll delete them from my phone every.single.day but never unsubscribe. I’m trying to be better about that right now!

  2. Marette

    I do many of these things. I do tend to keep more emails than I probably need, though, so I need to go through and delete some. What a neat content upgrade!

  3. Lora

    Yes! Great tips. I am so particular about my email inbox and keeping it manageable. I use it as my to-do list, reminders, etc, so I can’t have clutter in there that isn’t needed.

  4. Amie

    I did this a little while ago and amazingly, I feel better whenever I check my email! I may not be Monica from Friends (that made my chuckle, by the way lol), I do feel the need to keep things tidy. And then it gets frustrating when I go to check my email and I miss important messages because I have to swim through all of the junk first. Another thing I did was spring clean our actual mail, I got on the opt-out lists so credit card companies no longer send us junk and that’s been a bit help also. Thank you for posting!

  5. Klauss

    Yeah, it is really important 🙂 Self-organization starts with small things!

  6. candy

    I am proud to say I have accomplished this task.

  7. Carol Trimmer

    Some great advice on keeping up with email clutter! I go through periodically and unsubscribe from email newsletters. I’ve never really used folders and think it’s a great idea. Plus, the bill spreadsheet sounds really smart! Thanks,

  8. Kim S

    I am a huge stickler for inbox cleanup!

  9. Jenny

    I love organizing my emails into categories in Gmail. I am working on getting my inbox to 0 unread emails haha. I haven’t been too successful thus far.

    xoxo, Jenny

  10. Clare Speer

    Wow – I love your organizational skills… encouraging me to step it up a bit! I do finally have “folders” for my e-mail categories which has helped a great deal and I usually delete personal e-mails after I respond…. but you give such great tips! Thanks!

  11. Sophia

    I really need to do this. I have so much stuff in my email it is crazy.

  12. Robyn Proctor

    I’m so bad about this.I have no lie, 1,000 emails in my inbox!

  13. Jennifer Corter

    I have SO much that I have to unsubscribe to! I’ve had the same e-mail since high school. >_<

  14. Willow

    It’s funny that you mention entering a contest and getting a bunch of emails from other companies. I used to enter contests, and actually won a lot of stuff including a trip to New York and Milan. I am still unsubscribing from all the emails I get. It is a small price for what I received.

  15. Dia

    Can I please have some of your luck! I think I’ve won 2 email contests my whole life, probably valuing like $40

  16. Dia

    I hope it helps.

  17. Dia

    My main personal one one is probably from age 13 lol …13 years later.

  18. Dia

    Oh wow! I want to scream if I hit 200.

  19. Dia

    Way to go Candy!

  20. Dia

    Super smart. I think I need to renrew my opt-out soon.

  21. Dia

    Of course Clare 🙂

  22. Dia

    Thanks Marette 🙂

  23. Stephanie

    Oh man, I try and do this four times a year. Inbox clutter is the worse! Great tips 🙂

  24. Victoria Graham

    I definitely need to set aside some time and clean up my inbox. No need for all those dang subscriptions. You’ve definitely inspired me to just get it done!

  25. Dia

    Haha the ones that are really annoying are the ones I know I have tried to unsubscribe to are still coming

  26. Dia

    Good luck!

  27. Dia

    I agree. It’s so easy for it to get spammy

  28. Dia

    My unread has been zero but my overall will never be no matter how organized I am lol

  29. Dia

    I hope you enjoy!

  30. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by Carol! It seems like you are on top of it.

  31. Dia

    So many people do that! I am guilty on certain ones too.

  32. Dia

    Oh man that would make me feel so off my mark, I have a little black book for certain types of things and then put things on my google calendar for other types of things.

  33. Dia

    Very true!

  34. Angie

    Ugh, I so need to do this. My inbox is OUT OF CONTROL. IN a bad way.

  35. Teresa

    This is a great reminder! Virtual clutter can be just as distracting as paper clutter. I’ve about reached the max limit for my email provider…probably a good sign it’s time to stop the virtual hoarding and purge!

  36. Mary

    Ugh. I needed this. My email inboxes (both of them) are OUT OF CONTROL!!! Literally. Thousands. I need help!!!
    I’ve been trying to go in a little at a time to unsubscribe, and purge, but they just don’t stop. Ever.
    I need need need to be more diligent about this!

  37. Denay DeGuzman

    This is such a welcome reminder! I just deleted four pages of emails that were all delivered just today. I need to stop in my tracks and start unsubscribing. And I love your tip for creating email folders. I need to get better about that! Thanks again Dia. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  38. Heather with WELLFITandFED

    Just been working on this. I can keep the main box in order but it is my flagged and folders that need work! Thanks for the encouragement.

  39. Bella B (xoxoBella)

    Such a good reminder. There are so many things that I need to unsubscribe from.

  40. Liv

    Sometimes it’s so difficult to stay on top of email. These tips will be quite useful to organize everything and cut down on the clutter!

  41. Heather Davis

    I really need to clean out my email. These are good tips!

  42. Amber Starr

    I’ve been desperately trying to clean up my email. I’ve been unsubscribing to all the different lists that I was on and it has helped tremendously! Great tips, as always!

  43. Miriah

    I am so about to go do this. Thank you!!

  44. Jenn

    Okay so here’s the truth, I am SO bad with email. I have 2 email account one for business and one for pleasure. I’m sitting with over 300+ unread emails in each…I need to take some of your advice and really purge. This is a little embarrassing for me to say since every other part of me is all about organizing and planning but email, I have just lost my way! I think this will be on my list for this week. I’m actually going to spend a few hours this week going through my email and cleaning things out! You rock girl, thanks so much!!!

  45. Kim

    Great advice! I used to be overwhelmed with email (like 400+ a day!) until I started handing some of my email off to my co-owner in my business and unsubscribing from everything under the sun. Now it’s a manageable 100-150 a day. Phew! I created a system where I have folders of action steps and where things are in the pipeline.

  46. Kerry

    My gmail account is out of control!! I need to take your advice and unsubscribe. Everyday I get a million emails from Old Navy and living social. I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought anything from living social! Ha. I’m totally a Monica too when it comes to my house.

  47. leslie rossi

    i need to do this so badly!

  48. Dia

    It may take a while but it’s totally worth it.

  49. Dia

    Team Monica! I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything besides a gift card and key copy from Home Depot but they were emailing me EVERYDAY lol

  50. Dia

    Folders make it all so much more useable.

  51. Dia

    You rock too Jenn! I hope it helps knock some of those emails out of your inbox.

  52. Dia

    Thanks for stopping by Miriah!

  53. Dia

    We get so much “junk mail” in our inboxes it’s the only way lol

  54. Dia

    Thanks Heather!

  55. Dia

    Thanks Live!

  56. Dia

    Awe good lucky Angie 🙂

  57. Dia

    We all get a little off sometimes. Good luck!

  58. Dia

    Haha you aren’t alone.

  59. Dia

    Thanks Danay for stopping by. I hope this helps you with your inbox.

  60. Dia

    If you unsubscribe and are still getting them after a month, report the sender!

  61. Dia

    Haha PURGE!

  62. Nicole @ Work|Wear|Wander

    I really need to do this! I delete certain emails everyday and rarely unsubscribe, but your post may have given me the motivation to actually clean my inbox 🙂

  63. Dia

    When you unsubscribe it’s so much quicker!

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