There’s an old saying about the cobbler’s children having no shoes. Well, I can dish out great advice for keeping your Inbox in good order, but I’m not so fast to take my own advice. This morning, after downloading 253 new emails, I had 2,383 messages in my Inbox.
Watches, flags, categories, and so on are all great management and organization tools, but even the best system requires a personal touch now and again to keep things under control. So, today was the day.
First, I added three new folders:
- ActOn: These are the emails with watches, flags, and so on - emails that need my attention.
- ReviewLater: These are emails that I need to read, but that don’t need any kind of response from me.
- DeleteMidJune: These are for those messages that I probably don’t need at all, but that I’m reluctant to delete right now. If I do need something, it’ll be there. Next month, they’re toast! I won’t even open the folder and review it one last time. I’ll just delete the folder. (I like to live dangerously!)
I deleted everything else. I use the Deleted folder as a holding folder. Once a month, I delete whole blocks of emails. It seems obsessive, but I’ve found important information in there more than once. While moving and deleting, I didn’t read or respond. I just moved emails! As I moved down the list, I deleted more and move less.
I also made good use of the two keyboard shortcuts for selecting blocks:
- Hold down [Shift] and click to select contiguous blocks:
- Hold down [Ctrl] and click to select non-contiguous blocks.
That way, I was able to move or delete several emails at one time. In addition, I thought of two new filtering rules.
I spent 15 minutes and I have only 14 emails remaining in my Inbox. I created two new filtering rules that should help in the future.
What housecleaning tricks do you have for keeping your Inbox manageable?