Happy New Year!

I’m cleaning up my email to start out this year. I want my email to be a place where I take care of business. When I get an important email I don’t want it to get lost in the clutter. Time to clean up and organize.

Unsubscribe to Reduce Volume

Gradually, my inbox fills up with shopping emails. It’s not that I don’t like the product or the store, but I just don’t need to be reminded twice a day about the awesome sales from my favorite stores. So, time to clean this up.

Legitimate vendors will have an unsubscribe or manage email preferences link at the bottom of their email. They do enjoy making the link as tiny and insignificant as possible. Find it, click it, and go unsubscribe.

Look at the new mail each day and ask whether it is a good unsubscribe candidate.

Mark Spam

Things that are obviously spam and are getting through, need to be flagged. In this case, find the tool in your email application to mark the email as spam.

Some vendors do not have a way for you to unsubscribe. Do, the same thing and mark it as spam.

Long Term Saving Strategy

At the beginning of the year I create a folder for that year. During the year, I move things into that folder to store them. These are things like receipts, ongoing conversations, important messages, and emails with document attachments.

This allows me get that stuff out of my inbox, but it is still easily accessible.

Now that the year is over, It’s time to review last years folder. Email that I need to capture for longer term storage, can be exported to a ZIP file and stored locally for backup. Saved important attachments to the appropriate location.

NOTE: Exporting to a zip file is handled with a Thunderbird attachment for me. This allows me to zip the entire year’s worth of email into one file.

Now is also a good time to capture any email addresses by adding them to your address book.

Delete, Delete, Delete

Clean up the inbox by deleting all the excess.

I do tend to keep the prior year folders for a while, but since you have done the maintenance they can be deleted as needed.

At a minimum, go there last year’s folder and delete aggressively.