The problem with digital clutter is that it’s much easier to brush aside than the books, gadgets and keep sakes piling up on your living room floor. With cheap storage solutions, and the benefit of not having virtual clutter staring you in the face, it can quickly accumulate into masses of photos, documents and emails which are hard to keep on top of. Ever said, “I know the email is in here somewhere, hold on”? Yes we thought so.
Out of all of the things you could be mounting up digitally, the hardest to ignore, but the most important to keep organised are your emails. As something you use nearly every day, and a hot bed for promotional messages, it can be easy for important emails to go unnoticed while you plough your way through unwanted bulk. Urgent issues go unanswered and high priority gets the 2nd class treatment.
To make your email inbox a pleasant rather than painful experience, here are some simple steps to staying uncluttered.
Organise your messages
If you are part of different groups, work with a variety of clients or are constantly in contact with different members of your team, the fastest way to keep up with the conversation is to set up separate folders applicable to the respective groups. This way you can read just those messages at one time, and you will always know where to find them. This can easily be done by creating a rule on Outlook, or on Gmail, create a filter then “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” and “Apply the label”.
Limit your spam
If you have less messages to start out with then the more time you will save. Taking advantage of Gmail’s disregard of full stops in their email addresses, give out separate, modified versions of your Gmail address to different senders to help combat spam. Place the dot in different places for various people and web sign ups then setup Gmail to filter the emails into the corresponding categories- you have a perfectly organised inbox without the effort. Also a non brainer, set 30 minutes aside at the end of the day every now and again to unsubscribe from those newsletters you have been wanting to see the back of for months.
Consider a helping hand
These days you don’t have to know every technical trick in the book to be able to have a fully efficient email inbox. More and more apps are popping up claiming to revolutionise your email experience such as Aqua Mail, Task Box and SaneBox and with some of them available for free or for the cost of a cup of coffee they are certainly worth trying. SaneBox for example, aims to keep stress levels low and places storage space as high agenda- it scans emails for attachments and puts them onto Dropbox, great for those who like to work remotely. Working with your social networks it predicts which contacts are likely to be of high importance to you, and will be that reminder you need to follow up on correspondence. Perhaps the best investment you will ever make?
Filter out the junk and get right to the important stuff, how much time will you save?