Do you have trouble figuring out how to keep your inbox empty?
I definitely do. Recently, I actually had an empty inbox. It was beautiful. But now it’s a mess again, and I miss that beautiful, empty inbox. I’ve dug up some ideas on how to keep your inbox empty.
To get started, you need to have an empty inbox. If you haven’t had a clean inbox in years, I suggest declaring email bankruptcy.
How to Declare Email Bankruptcy
- Move all messages older than 2 weeks to a new folder. (Feeling brave? Just delete them.)
- If needed, send out a very polite message to your contacts to resend anything important.
- Enjoy a clean, fresh Inbox! (For at least 2 minutes, anyway.)
How to Keep Your Inbox Empty
Declaring email bankruptcy is no use if you just slide back into your old email habits. That’s why you need to establish a pre-bankruptcy strategy.
Just like in real life, you don’t want to go bankrupt again. Here are some suggestions for how to keep your inbox empty after you have declared email bankruptcy:
- Set up folders
Lots of folders. Set up a system so all newsletters go into one folder, and all your financial emails go into another. And all your Great Aunt Agnes’ forwards go in yet another. You can do this by sorting with keywords or email addresses.
- Make an archive folder
Don’t want lots of separate folders? Set up an archive folder. When you’re done with an email, move it to the archive folder. This keeps the main inbox clean without having to worry you’re deleting important emails
- Use the Gmail Inbox
It does a lot of sorting for you with pretty smart algorithms. It also lets you “sleep” emails so you’re reminded about them later. It also uses an archive, so you’re never really deleting anything.
- Set up an email schedule
Don’t check your email constantly all day long. That’s just a recipe for panic! Instead, set aside certain times of the day to check and deal with emails in your Inbox. This lets you focus on the task at hand instead constant Inbox distraction.
By the way, when your Inbox is empty, you have more space for your email discussion groups!
Any other ideas for keeping a clean inbox? Please share!