Organizing My Out Of Control Email

There isn’t a single day that goes by where I turn my head for just a few minutes and suddenly when I glance back towards my inbox there are a mountain of emails piled up.  It comes with the territory of managing a marketing department but a good portion of my day is reading and deleting.  It keeps me in the know but sometimes I already know and don’t need an email to confirm it.

Email was supposed to be an effective way of communicating information between co-workers and to business partners, clients and vendors, but I wonder sometimes if it would be more efficient to pick up the phone.  Well, maybe not, if you only need a of simple yes or no answer then I guess an email will do the trick. A lot of the emails I receive have information attachments so I guess in this case a phone call wouldn’t work either.  Besides phone calls can be time wasters too after pleasant introductions and how was your day questions that usually start off the phone call, and it’s also very easy to get off topic with a side conversation on the phone.  This can be avoided in an email all together.

In an effort to become more organized in my life this year and make use of my time more efficiently, I’m determined to become more organized with my emails at work and at home.  Our office uses Microsoft Outlook which has so many features that I know I am not utilizing to their fullest.  My first step to getting organized will be learning more about the time saving features built into this program.

I’ve found a ton of information online but I particularly like this one about using folders, categories and quick steps:

I think I’ll try and incorporate a few of these suggestions.

I have already created a library of folders and sub-folders for safe keeping of emails that I may need to refer back to in the future.  This has helped me tremendously in finding information I need later on.  However, I need to go through my inbox and sort through the emails that I have yet to put into these folders.  I’m afraid this is going to be an ongoing task but once it is done then I can stay on top of my new incoming emails.

Currently I have 2154 emails in my inbox, now these are not all from today but over a period of time.  I’ve opened them all but the mistake I made was reading them and not filing them right away.  I delete quick a few emails I receive but I’m sure there are more that are not necessary to hold onto.   My sent items folder is a lot worse, this I’ve neglected for quite some time.  Currently I am sitting at over 7800 emails.  I’ve been busy, but I need to get this cleaned up.

Now I don’t have an entire day to sit and sort through these thousands of emails so I’m going to set aside a little bit of time each day for email clean up.  I’m hoping that over a month I will have everything cleaned up and organized so that I can start a new system.

Read, Respond & File or Delete!! Repeat!!

Seems simple enough but making a habit of doing this will be the key to keeping my emails under control.

But first it’s time to get organized!!!


2 thoughts on “Organizing My Out Of Control Email

  1. Being organized is a lifestyle, not an event. Sounds like you need a process that fits your lifestyle! I just finished a great book on this very topic – “10-Minute Digital Declutter” – and I highly recommend it! It’s an easy read, and it offers great advice on how to get started. Good luck!


    1. Hi Patti, Thank you for the message.
      I’m usually a very organized person so that is why my inbox frustrates me because it’s not all filed away neat and tidy. But I’m on mission to get it all cleaned up and stay on top of it moving forward.
      I’ll definitely check out your book though!
      Have a great day! 🙂


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