It’s another Monday at work. You sit down and log into your work inbox, ready to start your day by quickly scanning all the emails that have been sent to you over the weekend. Unfortunately, you find yourself perusing your inbox more than an hour later as there are too many emails to sort through. While the sheer volume of electronic correspondence at the workplace can be overwhelming at times, there are ways that you can keep your inbox in check. In order to preserve your sanity and get your inbox under control, here are some tips that can help with that:

Group Like with Like

One of the best ways to get started on cleaning your inbox is to categorise your emails and group them by topic. After all, it can be time-consuming to constantly switch your focus between different types of emails. Arranging your emails can help you check your unopened emails based on topic so you can save time and be more efficient while doing so.

It also helps a lot if you install a useful program so you can group your emails and declutter your inbox with ease. Many offices usually require their employees to use an application like this and even provide training on how to use it. For instance, there are Microsoft Outlook professional training courses for businesses that primarily use the Microsoft Office suite of programs.

Purge Your Inbox Periodically

Even if your inbox is constantly kept in check, it is still prone to filling up with emails from time to time. Moreover, there will always be emails in your inbox that you will never read for any number of reasons. As a way to keep your inbox clean, it’s best to mass delete several emails at once every so often. In addition to ensuring that your inbox will only have the most important and relevant emails, you also keep your inbox sorted out over time.

Use the Send and Archive Function If You Use Gmail

Another way to help clean up your email is to keep it free of emails that you have already read. Since having to delete every message you reply to can be a hassle, you can activate the ‘send and archive’ feature of Gmail. This is a function that Gmail has had for years now and making use of this can help save you time while keeping your inbox organised at the same time.

Optimise Your Email Provider’s Existing Features

Speaking of email providers, many of these already have functions that can help filter and sort your emails. It is simply a matter of exploring those features and trying them out to see how they work. You might be surprised at how effective and helpful these functions can be when it comes to arranging your emails. While your email provider may already automatically filter your emails into labelled folders, you can always personalise them to fit your needs. Just be sure to check all the folders from time to time so you don’t miss any important emails.

Shut Off Notifications

To avoid wasting time checking your inbox throughout the day, you might want to shut off email notifications. That way, you can continue working in peace without the constant reminders, and you can simply set aside some time in the morning and the afternoon to check your inbox. While some emails will undoubtedly be urgent and will require an immediate response, trust that your colleagues will do their part in doing the notifying for you. If an email was truly urgent, they will also send you a direct message or contact you personally to get your attention.

Schedule Your Email Re-delivery

It can be hard going through an inbox full of unread emails, especially if new emails are constantly coming in. To give yourself ample time to go through all your emails without missing anything or being unproductive at work, you can set a specific time for incoming emails to show up in your inbox. Many email providers and management tools have a feature that will allow you to do this.

Clean Up Your Email Gradually

If your inbox is currently in need of serious reorganisation, remember to go about it slowly. It might be possible to clean your personal email inbox in a day, but that may not be the case for your work inbox. You have a job to prioritise, after all. Just as getting multiple work emails a day and having a crammed inbox might be overwhelming, attempting to sort and filter everything out quickly may be equally counterproductive.

Take the time to learn about your email provider’s features, familiarise yourself with different applications, and implement these tips slowly. Try to spread it out over a week or two so you can dedicate a few minutes each workday to sorting out your inbox without hurting your productivity.

An overstuffed inbox is a modern-day problem that you can solve with the help of technology. Hopefully, these tips will make it easier for you to clean up your inbox and keep it nicely organised. That way, you can be more efficient at work without missing any important information. The process may take longer than you’d like at first, but the results will truly be worth it.

Achieve inbox zen with our Microsoft Outlook courses today.