The holiday season is here and the countdown has begun for a new year. We all like to make a fresh and clean start. Clutter-free and mess-free. So, we clean up our house, workstation, decorate them and heave a sigh of relief. But what about your inbox? Would you like to open your email inbox on the very first day of the year, or maybe on the second, to find thousands of unread emails staring right back at you? Greetings from friends and family lost and mixed up with the commotion of promotions and vouchers and connection requests. You get the picture.
There is something about cluttered spaces that throws me off. It is not just about being organized but about being productive and efficient. You wouldn't want your charged up self with all the new year resolutions, to be turned off by the sheer volume of emails spewing out of your inbox.
I like to keep my inbox clean and organized all the time, and it helps me find the right stuff at the right time. I am going to share some tips with you to help you get your inbox "holiday-ready," too!
These tips are for Gmail inboxes, as everyone today has a gmail ID and also because they have 3 sections under just one ID "Personal", "Social," "Promotions," which leads to more clutter to be cleared, but it also makes the entire process relatively easier.
So, let's start.
Tip#1 Remove the common offenders
There will be unsolicited emails (and quite a few of them) from people/ websites you don't even remember subscribing to. Find out one of the names and type it in the search bar and hit enter. All those unwanted emails and newsletters are right in front of you. "Select all" and hit delete. Repeat it for some of the other common offenders and you now have newsletters you had signed up for, well mostly.
Tip#2 "Mark Read" everything you would like to keep
For all the unopened emails/newsletters that came from sources you like to hear from but don't have an option to check as often, type their name in the search bar and hit enter. "Select All" and "Mark as read". Deselect the "Select All" button next.
All these emails will now stop showing as unread but will also be available for future reference, as you are not deleting them.
Tip#3 Find out emails of the people who matter
There will be emails from people who matter and also documents that matter, for example, electronic invoices, scanned copies etc. These are things you do not want to lose. Mark those read, as well, and move them to categories on the right hand side of the emails. You can also "Star" them to ensure you don't delete them by mistake and also for easy recovery under the head "Starred."
Tip#4 Unsubscribe emails that you don't want anymore
There would be certain offers and emails that you do not wish to receive anymore. Although deleting them every time you get them is an option but it only increases your work. So, it is always better to go ahead and just hit unsubscribe and be done with it.
Tip#5 Compact View
Now that the groundwork is done you just have to get started with deleting and a superhuman speed. You have protected everything you might require later and now all that stands between you and the clean inbox is the mess that has to be deleted.
Switch to compact view (on the upper right hand corner of the Gmail window under the Settings) so that the window can hold upto 50 emails at the same time. Now, start from the last page of unread emails. This is important because every time you clean the page, the next page full of unread emails comes forth.
If you start from the first page, the number of unread emails will keep reducing by 20-30-10 and finally you will go to the next page, which is kind of annoying. Please do scan through the emails once before you "Select Unread" and hit "delete". You wouldn't want to delete anything important, although we have done enough groundwork through tips#1-4. It always pays to be careful.
Listen to some music while doing this. This is monotonous work and that is why people generally don't like cleaning their inbox. Just think an inbox that says "woohoo! You have read all your emails." Even if it does not say so you would indeed "Woohoo" in your head, as there is nothing more blissful than a clutter-free space.
Happy Holidays everyone! Please do share the post if you found it useful or think someone might. Cheers!