- Take the time to unsubscribe. We all get multiple emails from spam accounts, from that time you wanted a discount at Old Navy, or any other website. Take the time to go through your inbox and unsubscribe from email lists you do not want to be on anymore. It will save you time later, when you are deleting emails from those senders anyways!
- Designate a time of day to check your emails. This provides you with a chunk of time that is dedicated to dealing with your inbox, instead of constantly and absentmindedly checking it all day long.
- Deal with the email right away. As soon as you open an email, deal with its contents and responses immediately. Try not to touch your emails more than once, just as you would do with paperwork that’s on your desk to finish up!
- Be diligent with out of office notifications. Make sure people know that you are not available 24/7, and when you won’t be checking your emails. This provides you with less emails to deal with when you come back.
- Use folders to file your emails. This is a quick and effective way to keep track of your emails. Make sure your folders and sub-folders are specific enough so you are not searching all day for a certain email. This goes hand in hand with #3; as soon as you receive an email, deal with it, then file it or delete it if it is unimportant.
- Save important emails. If there are emails that need safe-keeping, or they are very important, make sure to save them to an external source. That way, if your computer or email server crashes or wipes itself clean, you still have access to your important email documents.
- Empty your deleted file. This one can be a pain, but if you need space, you will only get it if you empty your deleted file. You don’t have to empty it entirely, just the deleted files that have been there for several years. This way, you get more space, and know exactly the extent of your trash.
- And finally, don’t be Michael Scott!
Erin: Frankie’s Dirty Joke of the Day? There’s a bunch of those.
Erin: There’s a bunch of Sent e-mails that jusy say “Delivered.” Should I delete all of those?
Michael: I want to keep those so I can see what I sent.
Erin: That’s why you have a “Sent Mail” folder.
Erin: There’s about 30 news alerts for “Nip Slip.”
Michael: For what?
Erin: “Nip slip.”
Michael: Oh okay. I don’t know how those got on there…
Michael: Must be hackers.
– The Office, NBC (2005).