You know the feeling of frustration when your inbox gets cluttered and you can´t find a thing. If you receive hundreds of e-mails each week, you know how easy your inbox can get messy and how difficult it can be to make it organised again.


Here are 10 steps on how to keep your inbox clean and organised:


Delete. Delete. Whenever you see an e-mail from an unknown sender, look at the Subject line. If you see unknown and funny characters with no sense at all, the e-mail is spam and you should delete it immediately.


Use Rules. Once you have deleted everything that looked as spam and completely irrelevant, you need to decide what to do with the e-mails that you have left. Do you have lots of e-mails from the same person, or multiple e-mails from the same company? Use Rules! They allow you to automatically store new e-mails to the appropriate folders. This also makes step #1 easier to do in the future because most of the relevant e-mails have been filtered and moved to their appropriate folders.


Use Filters. Another thing for which you can use Filters and Rules is to filter spam messages directly to the trash. You can configure them to search offensive and adult terms in subject lines and move those spam messages to the bin immediately.


Create Folders. If you have an e-mail that is actually a newsletter for which you have subscribed, make an appropriate folder for them and apply a filter so you can read them later when you have the time.


Read and delete. You should delete all e-mails that do not have valid future use or are not worth keeping.


Prioritise your e-mails. Most e-mail programs such as Outlook give you an ability to mark certain messages with priority, flags, or colours.


Empty your trash can each day. Be sure to give your trash can another quick glance before deleting just to make sure that your filters have not picked a wrong e-mail based on the keywords and terms that you have included.


Create folders such as Follow Up, To-Do List etc. You can put e-mails that are interesting and have grabbed your attention but you simply do not have the time to read them now. When you find the time, simply revisit the folder and read the messages. After that, move them to another folder or simply delete them.


Follow these steps every time. In order to avoid backup of your e-mails, make sure that you follow these steps as often as possible. Move spam to the trash, clear your To-Do folders from e-mails older than 60 days.


Create a folder system. At last, you are probably wondering what to do with all these folders and how to name them. We can´t help you with that because this is unique for each user. Each user should try to think of a system for naming and organising folders in an intuitive and simple way.



How do you control your inbox? Share your tips with us in the comments area below or on Facebook

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Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


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