Spring is in the air – that means it’s time to clean!
And the messiest place for any business professional? The dreaded Outlook inbox.
There are more than 250 million emails sent each and every day – those definitely start to pile up. And we can’t step into spring with a clean slate if we’re still climbing “Mount Inbox,” now can we?
That’s why we’re taking some time to sift through our emails and prepare ourselves for the busy season to come.
Here are 4 helpful tips to clean out that overcrowded inbox and kick off spring with a bang.
5 Tips for Outlook Inbox Spring Cleaning
1. Start with Junk Mail
The easiest place to start when cleaning out our inbox is the junk folder. This is where all those spam emails come to die.
It’s also where a lot of unnecessary emails pile up.
We hit the ground running here by going through these emails and deleting old, irrelevant or outdated messages. It’s almost cathartic, really.
2. Get Organized
Another step in the inbox-cleaning process is getting organized. We receive hundreds of emails a day. As a result, it is imperative to have a process to sort and organize all of these emails.
To keep our inbox clean and organized, we create FOLDERS for each client and further segment those folders to each meeting. Each person may have a different process but we find this the easiest to keep all emails in one place for each client and meeting. We further break down meeting folders into sub-folders such as proposals, contract, floor plans, menus, budget. The enables us to quickly locate past emails and keep our main Inbox less cluttered.
To speed this process along, you can even create a “To File Later” folder for anything that you’re at all unsure about and an “Unsubscribe” folder for anything you don’t want anymore. Tip: Those are great folders to sort through when you have five minutes to spare.
This also helps us stay on top of our emails going forward.
3. Play with Email Settings
We like to go through our email inboxes a few times a year and re-categorize emails. To make sure the process is a smooth one – and doesn’t kill an entire day – we adjust our email settings by creating RULES for emails from a specific sender or with a specific subject line. For example, we create a rule for all monthly online meeting newsletters to go into a certain folder. This sorting process is now automated thanks to the rules we created. It assures these emails don’t start piling up like crazy again.
Learn more: Help me create rules!
Additionally, we like to separate our emails into categories – urgent and not-urgent. This lessens the number of emails we have to go through in a day.
Set up a system that works for you to ensure you climb to the top of “Mount Inbox” and conquer the day to day barrage of emails that fill your inbox.
If you’re Inbox looks anything like our morning Inbox, less than 25% of your incoming mail is actually pertinent—in other words, anything you need to know or that requires a response. And that means a staggering 75% of your email is likely doing little more than eating up your day.
Let’s cut it off at the source, shall we? First, the easy part: unsubscribe from every list-based email you get—unless you really, truly need it or benefit from receiving it.
5. Empty the Trash
The next step in ridding the email inbox of unwanted emails is to actually go through past emails and folders and send them to the trash. Much like cleaning out your closet and sending items off to GoodWill, cleaning out your Inbox and sending items to the Trash feels like a weight has been lifted.
Have you ever heard the advice, “if you haven't worn something in a year, get rid of it”? The same idea applies to email. If you have emails from over a year ago in your inbox, get rid of them - unless the emails belongs in a specific folder for a future meeting. Then, file away!
Less is more, even when it comes to email!
The Importance of a Clean Inbox
Emails are exhausting – we’re sure all event professionals would agree. It’s important that these emails don’t get out of hand and start taking over.
That’s why we prioritize taking some time (hopefully more than just in the Spring) to clean out our inboxes and freshen up our organizational structure.
It’s time to take control and change your inbox from a cluttered mess to a picture of success.
If you need some more tips on staying organized and productive, check out this blog post!