EndPlay Staff Reports - Is organizing your email inbox among your list of New Year's Resolutions?
It should be, and you should do it far more often than once a year, experts advise.
Cleaning out your inbox can not only help you get organized for the new year, it can actually help reduce stress in your life.
"Cut down on the excessive email and it won't pile up. Less stress means better performance. Focus on things that really need your full attention," writes Drew Olanoff, an editor at The Next Web .
"Who are you fooling? If you haven't read the 3,000 emails in your inbox, you're never going to read them. Do yourself a favor and spend an hour on setting up filters to get junk out of your inbox, then mark everything as read."
Here are some tips on how to better manage your emails from a 2007 post by Leo Babauta on zenhabits.net :
• Don't start your day off by checking email. That's especially hard now that so many people have smartphones beside the bed. But this article advises that you wait to check email, and do the most important things first.
• Don't have email on all of the time. If your email is set to notify you every time an email arrives, you can expect to be continuously distracted. If your needs permit, just check email once an hour.
• As soon as you read an email, either delete it or move it to an appropriate folder for future reference.
• Respond to an email as soon as possible. Waiting leads to a bloated inbox.
• Make good use of folders. Archive emails that don't need a response that you still want to keep for future reference. Again, this can be an Archive folder or a folder you set up by category.
Jill Duffy at PC Magazine advises to set aside 15 to 20 minutes each week to work on deleting, filing or archiving old emails. "Shut down all other programs, or if you're in a Web browser, close all other tabs. If you can block incoming mail for this time period, do that, too," she writes.