First, we have to ask the big question: How many emails do you have in your inbox? 10, 100, 1000, or don’t have a clue…? Typically, in Outlook, you’ll see “items” in the bottom corner of your screen followed by the number of emails. Next to it, you’ll see the amount of “unread” emails.
Cleaning your inbox may seem like a chore, but putting it on your to-do list is a worthy idea. Cleaning up your virtual spaces, such as your inbox, can feel just as great as walking into a freshly cleaned office or kitchen or bedroom. And just like walking into a clean office space where you can find things easier, and the things you need are more accessible, the same can be said for email.
Ever searched for a keyword to find something in your inbox and several emails come up? When you think of all the times you’ve had to wade through old emails (some with the same subject line) to find what you need, the time really adds up. Think of it this way. If it takes about 3 minutes to read one email, how many minutes or hours have you wasted in just the past year scanning over old information?
To increase your email efficiency, start sorting:
- Assign to someone
- File to a folder accordingly
- Keep it as your task to complete
You might start by going way back to the earliest emails you have in your inbox and see if you can mass delete a bunch of them based on the dates and subjects. Don’t forget to check your spam, outbox and drafts folders to see if you can clear those out as well.