The average person receives as many as 120 emails per day. If you dirtied 120 dishes per day, or acquired 120 pieces of clothes to put in the laundry every day, you might think: uh-oh, I’ve got a problem.
Yet how many of us make cleaning our inbox a priority?
If you want to rein in your email organization, the secret isn’t to try and solve everything within your inbox. You can’t fix your email distraction problems by mass-deleting emails, potentially dooming mission-critical messages to the trash bin. Nor can you expect a few Gmail organization tips to solve everything.
Check out our suggestions below for ideas on improving your email organization:
If getting your inbox under control feels like herding cats, you’ll still need to start somewhere. Let’s focus on the email organization strategies that will have the biggest impact on your productivity:
Gmail and Outlook offer plenty of helpful tools for organizing emails. But if you’re looking for a complementary tool, sign up for lockrMail. This way, you can handle email organization from a much more user-friendly dashboard. Here’s how to use folders and rules in each tool:
Email organization is a bit like desk organization: it’s not “organized” if it’s all sitting in one pile. To keep a tidy inbox, keep the following in mind:
It’s going to happen: emails will pile up on you. No matter how effective you are at email cleanup, you’ll end up with extras.
Set recurring reminders either daily, weekly, or monthly within your Google and Outlook calendars. Think of this as “productivity batching”—you’re doing nothing else in that time except deleting unnecessary emails, folders, and spam. And if you’re using lockrMail, that time goes quickly: just toggle the appropriate switch and you’re opted out, or click a new filter from the library.
You can also use lockrScan to batch unsubscribe from emails in your Gmail account. We recommend resubscribing to your most frequent emailers with your lockrMail address. Through lockrMail, you’ll have far more control (see Tip #6)—and you’ll leave each organization session with a better handle on your entire inbox.
One final tip here? When the timer is up, you’re done – even when you’re not finished. You can always adjust the time for the next session.
Your messy inbox creates the haystack. An individual email is the needle. With a cluttered email account and one email to find, good luck making it work.
Unless, of course, you know how to use email search. For example, within Gmail, you can do more than enter a keyword. Click the “advanced search” button on the right—it looks like a series of knobs and switches. You can add specific date filters, recipients, and even exclude some keywords to narrow things down.
In lockrMail, you can visit your dashboard, scroll down to “search,” and instantly look up a key phrase or sender name. You can also sort by “most recent” for a quick calendar-based overview, or “most emails” to see which sender is trying to clutter your inbox the most. You can also use the advanced search features to filter by delivery status or by groups you designate.
You may be used to organizing emails in Outlook or using Gmail organization tools, but when you sign up to lockrMail, you can immediately use more advanced email filters to control what, when, and who gets through to your inbox. Think of it like a protective coating on your inbox: before anyone sends something to you through your lockrMail address, you get to determine when—and what—ultimately ends up in your inbox. Use Order Updates and Discounts filters for retail emails or add No Sponsored Content on newsletters to save yourself the one-off ads.
With lockrMail, many of these tips take care of themselves. And you can do one better: managing what emails make it through to your inbox before you ever have to worry about cleaning it. Consider signing up for a free lockrMail account to stop the flow of junk into your inbox today.