When people think of clutter, they typically imagine stacks of paper, piles of clothes, or bins of toys. While all of these apply, the 21st century problem has spread into our digital lives. We could spend a whole month working on computer clutter alone! But today we are going to focus on email.
Your challenge is to open your inbox and delete 23 emails. If you are super organized and your inbox is empty, sort through any folders you have made and see if you can idenity some out of date emails to purge. Otherwise, scroll down and eliminate the emails you no longer need.
If you are someone who has hundreds (or thousands!) of spam emails in your inbox, 23 is just a drop in the bucket. If you have the time and prefer to tackle this yourself, begin by sorting your inbox by sender. This way you can select all of the emails from a specific vendor and delete en masse. If you wish, go ahead and unsubscribe from any email blasts you no longer want. Anyone sending advertising is required by law to offer the option to unsubscribe, so scroll down to the bottom and you will see the link.
If you are comfortable using technology, there are some great services designed to aid in this process. A few to check out are the unroll.me app and mailstrom. Another tip is to set up filters within your email service to automatically move the spam into folders other than your primary inbox, thus alleviating the constant need to hunt for the emails you wish to see.
If you would like to see how these tools work, this is a helpful YouTube video.
Deleting email is an ongoing project, but one that can easily be done during small bits of “waiting time,” such as in the carpool lane, at the train station, on the elevator, or in the grocery store line.
Are you ready for a de-cluttering task that won’t make a mess? How many emails are in your inbox?
19 thoughts on “GO! Challenge #23: Emails”
I am usually pretty on top of my email and make sure to sort and answer as I can through out the week. So to be honest this is another one that I feel confident that I am ok with right now at the very least 😉
Janine Huldie recently posted…Crayons and The Pink Girl Lives On
I’m pretty on top of my inbox because I can’t stand seeing the little red circle. That said, I probably could spend some time going through some of my folders… happy weekend!
I keep my inbox pretty clean, I create folders in Outlook to store the things to reference, but I do need to delete some old client folders so that is what I am doing on this challenge.
Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…10 Kitchen Organizing Essentials
I’m the same way, Sabrina! The inbox is in pretty good shape (because I hate the notice that I have unread mail,) but some of the folders are clogged up. I’m going for 23 myself!
My inbox is generally pretty current too, but don’t look at my Sent folder! I’m going to go do that now.
Janet Barclay recently posted…Is a WordPress.com site right for your business?
Oh the Sent folder — good one, Janet!
Great blog post for this time of year, because I think we forget that email can cause clutter as well. I know every few months I unsubscribe to the emails I no longer want, need, or use.
Jill Robson recently posted…How to shop smart at a consignment store – an interview.
I do the same, Jill. I seem to get “re-added” to some lists, but I persist nonetheless. It has been my experience that people “lose” things in email as much or more than in their homes!
For those trapped inside by the big blizzard, this is a great purging activity.
Yes, curl up by the fire and delete, delete, delete. And then unsubscribe:) Stay warm, Susan!
I love Unroll.me. It has kept my inbox much more manageable. I still get my promotional emails, but they are in a visually pleasing format. I’m off to add more emails to my roll up and unsubscribe from those that are no longer relevant!
And all of us love having them in a visually pleasing format – hooray Unroll.me!
This was a great reminder for me since I have multiple email accounts. I think I need to do 23 for each!
Great point, Sarah. I have multiple accounts as well. I should have suggested that you look in ALL of your inboxes:)
I am working on a similar post like this. I posted very proudly on Facebook that I had deleted 15,000 Emails (slightly more than 23!) and I was shocked at the responses. Many of my friends confessed to having at least that many, or more – one lady had 40,000! That’s just crazy. I have used Unroll.me very extensively, but all it did for me was to move Emails off to a summary Email that I would avoid like the plague. I finally gave myself permission to unsubscribe myself from all but a handful of newsletters and regular posts that I actually DO enjoy reading and I’ve been better (though not perfect!) about reading them and deleting them. I’ve also moved to the Spark mailbox, which I love – it organizes messages into personal messages, notifications like from banks and Facebook, and newsletters, and then a list of starred items, which I use as a running to-do list. That has helped me a LOT. I also set up a filter called Read and Delete, for brief informative items. So I can just click that filter once a week or so and it pulls up a whole list of items I can just scan and delete. That has helped in taming my inbox a lot.
adrian recently posted…How Long Will It Take to Pay Your Christmas Bills?
Sounds like you have some terrific ideas on this topic, Adrian. I look forward to your post! Any tool the helps filter or sort emails in a way that helps us be more efficient is worth it! 15,000 is VERY impressive!
I like deleting e-mails and unsubscribing from newsletters. I’m on it! =)
But, I have to confess — I spend much less time organizing my messages. Gmail labels, stars, tabbed messages, and powerful search means that I can usually find what I want quickly. I also use Inbox by Gmail on my phone, so I can pin and find important messages when I need to. So, even when my inbox is full, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.
Okay, I’m off to delete some messages!
Deb Lee recently posted…Build a Better Blog: Vary Your Visual Content
You bring up an interesting point, Deb. The power of search means we’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about labeling. I wonder if in the future, when our digital lives get more cluttered, if search will become less efficient… when a search for our keyword brings up 20 documents instead of two. I wonder about this with Dropbox.
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