Clear Your Email... For Good

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Important! Contrary to popular belief, email stress can actually be avoided. Email isn't like it used to be. It has become one of the most popular forms of communication, meaning we receive more and more each day. Fresh out of the box, most email platforms (including gmail) are destined to become cluttered as overtime we lose track of managing all the messages. However, with a little time and effort, your email inbox can be cleared once and for all.

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This is the message gmail displays to me at the end of each day. Nice, right? It's because of a few tricks that I've learned, I am able to keep my inbox at zero, yes, Zero. The solution is easy and I'll show you how. *Keep in mind that everyone works at different levels, so this may not be the one-size-fits-all plan. If you have any questions please send us a message over here.

1. Delete Delete Delete

I recently helped a friend of mine organize his email and I was surprised to see that he was able to rack up more than 1,000 unread messages and there were still more read messages. Many of the emails were notifications, receipts, or old conversations that could be archived rather than kept in the main inbox. 

1,000 would be a huge number of messages to look at every time you were to open your email. In a way, it would be like opening the door to your dining room and seeing 1,000 letters and bills stacked on the dinner table, everyday.

So if you're anything like my friend, the first step is to delete, to just throw it away. The easier place to start is with the older material and then slowly work your way to newer emails.

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2. Label and Archive

If you don't use gmail, it's worth switching. Gmail is one of the most used email platforms and is highly efficient when a few tricks are applied. 

As you are deleting emails you no longer need (which is probably a lot more than you may think) label those you do need to keep. In gmail, messages with the same label are always placed in the same folder and can be accessed at the left side of the page.

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You can label messages with either of these buttons located above the message. Clicking the folder icon allows you to label the email and send it to the labeled folder without it being visible in the main inbox. The label icon keeps the message visible in the main inbox. I personally enjoy a clear inbox, so I make sure to move the labeled message to a folder every time. You can also star messages. By doing this you will send the most important messages together in a starred folder.

3. Keep It Up

Once you've gone through all your old messages, labeled the necessary ones and tossed the obsolete ones, you should have a clear inbox. (Warning: Your excitement will be hard to contain.) To keep it from cluttering again it is important to label and delete every time you open your inbox. A few ways to make this easier is by 1. Check it (much) less often during the day. Only look at it when you really need to and take care of every message when you do check it. 2. Don't use your smartphone to check email (if you don't need to). 3. Don't bother with email on weekends (if you don't need to).

Hooray, now you can feel relieved rather than stressed when you close out your inbox. Now if we could just figure out how to deal with traffic jams. :)

An extra gmail tip: Get rid of google chat. There are so many other ways of chatting, like texting, Skype, Facebook. Why bother with google chat if you don't need it. It makes the gmail inbox look even cleaner.