Declutter Your Email | The Happiness Bucket

3 Tips to Help You Declutter Your Email Inbox

Do you find that your inbox gets more junk than mail? Well today we are going to cover three tips you can use to declutter your email inbox.  I call these emails noise in your inbox because you can’t really focus on the important things coming into your box for all the “noise” around it.

As always let me provide a disclaimer here and say that these tips won’t work for everyone.  You have to base which tips you use on your lifestyle and needs.  If these don’t meet your needs feel free to contact me so we can discuss what types of things could assist you.

Now, onto the tips:

Blog or Vendor Emails and Newsletters

These are the emails you get after you subscribe to a blog or you purchase a product from a company.  The main purpose of these emails is to provide information of what is going on with that company or blog.  Now here is what typically happens with these types of emails.  You typically have a handful that you actual read and the rest just add noise to your mailbox.

The method you use will depend on whether you like living in your inbox or if you would prefer to live outside your inbox on social media or on a platform like feedly.  There are pros and cons of both methods, but for now I am going to speak specifically to the person who wants to keep the emails in their inbox.

Determine If A Viable Resource

The first thing I’d recommend is that you determine if you actually like the company and the content they send out.  If the answer is yes, then move on to the Setup a Resource Folder section.  If the answer is no, scroll to the bottom of that particular email and click on the unsubscribe link.  If for some reason they don’t have one or it’s not working, right click on the email and mark it as junk.  Then sort your inbox by the sender and delete all of the emails associated with the sender.  You can always resubscribe later if your situation changes.

Setup A Resource Folder

If you are interested in continuing to receive the content, I’d recommend you set up a folder for that company or blog.  For example, you should have a folder titled THB or The Happiness Bucket. The purpose of this folder is so you can move all items received from THB into a folder and when you have time to review the content or need to find the content you can click on the folder and immediately get to the information you need.

This enables you to move the emails out of your inbox and batch review them ultimately turning down the volume of the noise in your inbox.

I would recommend that you hold your declutter or review process for those you think you are interested in until after you have sorted (batched) all the emails into the folder.  It makes the review process easier  You may find with this new found order that you actually see the emails and start reading them more often.

Mixed Bag of Tricks

Some companies (especially companies selling physical products) mix in their advertisements for sales with their blog posts and other information with no differentiation between the email address that it comes from. You may just be interested in the blog posts and not all the other promotional materials.

Check the bottom of the email to see if they have a link that allows you to unsubscribe from just that type of email.  If not, click on the unsubscribe button and see if they have an option to unsubscribe from certain parts of their mailings.

Larger companies or those that have many different publications tend to have this option, if not again you have to decide what is more important to you – getting the info you are waiting for or the junk.  If you do want the information, see if there is specific wording for those emails that you don’t like and create a rule that automatically deletes it upon arrival.

Consider the main purpose of the email vs. what you signed up for.  For blog content, my rule of thumb is I allow promotional content from those who offer value first.  If all you do is sell to me I’m not interested.  Physical products are a little different, so you should take this into consideration too.

Social Media and Vendor Alerts

Social Media alert emails are some of the biggest noise creators out there.  Do you really use these alerts?  Many social media sites have a number of options for notifying or alerting you of activity on your account.  I recommend you evaluate the ones you actually look at and eliminate all the extra noise from your email box.  You can usually find these options under settings on those social media platforms.

Add-On Store Deals

There are some companies that sell your contact information to other companies and/or they have so many subsidiaries that when you subscribe to one list all the others get it (it’s in the fine print). Just unsubscribe from those “extra” lists and remember next time to read the fine print.

It is also ok to tell the store no when they ask you for an email address, they usually suggest you subscribe for an additional discount or to receive information about sales…which adds you to all their mailing lists.  Well, I suggest you connect with their text, twitter, facebook or google+ feeds for that information instead.

One thing I did years ago is I set up a promotional only email account so when companies ask me for that information I give that email address instead.  I also set up an automatic filter to delete anything older than two weeks.  This helps me have one place to go to search for current deals and it’s not junking up my normal inbox.

So in summary, your inbox doesn’t have to be like the wild wild west, you can corral these emails (why did I just go all western on you?!?!).  Remember folders are your friends, unsubscribe from emails you aren’t reading and don’t want, read the fine print and check boxes before you signup and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

I hope you found this information helpful.  If you are interested in setting up a consultation session to have me work with you click here.


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About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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