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author photoChelsea FaithNovember 5, 2023

Decluttering Email Guide - How to Keep Your Inbox Organized


When decluttering email, many people sit on the activity until their entire inbox looks like pure chaos. The more you ignore those unread emails, the more confusing and overwhelming it will be to go through all of them. Depending on your professional line of work, keeping your inbox in order could be considered a full-time job.

That being said, while you may want to pretend those emails don't even exist, they do eventually need to be addressed. Whether you are deleting emails or organizing them, clearing a cluttered mailbox can help you be more productive with your tasks. This article will contain a few email decluttering tips so that you can keep everything nice and organized.

Ways to Declutter Your Email Inbox Quickly

When you have thousands of emails lined up in your email inbox, clearing things up might seem like Mission Impossible. Luckily, there are certain email inbox management best practices and strategies that you can do to make this process faster. Here are a few ways to declutter your inbox and keep it free of unneeded emails.

Unsubscribe from Unnecessary Newsletters

Very often, you end up with subscriptions that you didn't even know you had. All it takes is to create an account on a certain platform, and you will receive daily promotional emails that you don't care about. This often turns your inbox into a full mess of unread emails.

A good way to keep things organized is to unsubscribe from every subscription that you have. Only leave the ones that send you information you see as worthwhile. Even if you buy from a certain brand or store regularly, you don't need an email to see what they offer. You can find that out by just visiting their website.

Mass Delete By Sender

You may have unsubscribed from all the stores and brands, but the old emails are still there. Rather than going through every email, you can declutter your email inbox by deleting them all in one go.

No matter the email service that you use, you should be able to look up the sender in the search bar. Once all the emails from them show up, click on the box that selects all of them and then hit "Delete All." You'll be able to delete hundreds of emails in just a few seconds.

Consider the Five-Year Question

The five-year question is something that can make you think much deeper about the way you handle emails. Think about the value that an email may bring you, or how it helps you reach your goals.

Ask yourself this question: "When did I last have to use an email that was older than five years?" If the answer is "never," you may delete or archive any email that is past that age. The same question can apply to four or three years, depending on your line of work.

Create Labels and Folders

After deleting all the emails that you don't need, it's time to organize those that you do use. A good way to do so is to create folders or labels that allow you to put everything into categories.

One example is to create folders for your client emails, work projects, and personal emails. You can also give them labels, such as "Urgent" or "To Do." This way, it should be much easier for you to find what you need, without having to go through hundreds of emails of different types.

Use Flags or Stars

You may have organized your emails into folders now, but that does not mean every email there is important. To make things even faster to find, you may want to "star" them or flag them as important.

This can be very convenient for you if you want to mark emails that require your immediate attention. Also, if you have files that you do not want to lose in the sea of emails, this can help you keep them separate. If you bought tickets for an event that happens in 8 months, this feature will ensure you don't lose them.

Archive Emails That Are Old

There may be times when you have old emails that you don't need anymore but they may come in handy later. This may include work emails with specific data or certain messages that could help you in a potential audit or other actions in the long term.

If you are not ready to discard those emails, your best option would be to archive them. This way, you will no longer be tripping over them in your inbox and you can keep everything neat.

Set Email Deletion Goals

The thing about deleting emails is that you never really have a plan. You just clear as many as you can during your "hyperfocus" moment, and then ignore your inbox for the next few months once more.

A good way to clear the email clutter is to set goals for each day, preventing the email "mountain" from growing. Even if you set the goal to delete 100 emails every day, you may still be able to clear your inbox fast and easily.

Top Habits to Keep Your Gmail Inbox Organized

With your mail inbox now clean, it's time to ensure it stays that way. Getting into the groove of good email habits can feel like a breeze when you've got an email client in your corner. With an email client, you're not just tossing your messages into a pile; you're placing them into their own little homes with labels and folders.

You can freeze an email until you're ready to deal with it, keeping your inbox clear in the meantime. Plus, the search function is like having a treasure map to your past conversations, so you can pull up any email with a few keystrokes, no rummaging required. You can look at this list of the top email clients to use.

Using an email client is one of the easiest ways to build and maintain these good habits. With all these tools at your disposal, your email client doesn't just keep your inbox tidy—it turns you into an email ninja, swift, efficient, and oh-so-organized.

Here are some other tips that can help:

Turn Your Incoming Emails into Actions or Tasks

Very often, your inbox gets crammed with all kinds of emails because you regard them passively. You look at them, realize you don't need them, and then leave them unread until the end of time.

To keep your inbox organized, you should change your outlook and look at your inbox as tasks or actions. If they are not fit to enter your to-do list, then you can simply delete them. Either way, you will have a clear email once you take action.

Don't Subscribe to Everything

Your inbox view likely became a mess because you had subscriptions coming from all over the place. To prevent the same thing from happening again, once you clean your inbox, you should stop putting yourself on all the mailing lists.

Whenever you set up an account, two boxes will be automatically checked before you hit "Enter:" the "Terms and Conditions" and the subscription to their newsletter. While you won't be able to create an account without agreeing to the terms, you can check yourself out from their newsletter.

Set Up Automatic Filter Rules

One of the best ways to improve inbox management is to move each email into a specific folder can take a lot of time, even if you know exactly where you want each email to go. A good way to declutter your inbox is to automatically sort incoming emails using filters.

By setting up these filters, you can make it so that your emails automatically go into certain folders. After that, all you have to do is check that folder for the emails that interest you.

Block Spam Emails Instead of Deleting

Now and again, emails that should have gone into your spam folder will make their way into your primary inbox. Rather than deleting them immediately, you should mark them as spam. This will train your email provider to no longer send those emails to your main inbox and keep things tidy.

A good alternative would also be to block emails from certain senders if they are repeat offenders. By adding them to your blocklist, even if they do send an email, you won't get it in your inbox.

Use the Two-Minute Rule

Let's say that every email that you get is important and you do not want to send it into the spam folder. If that is the case, then you can use the two-minute rule. For every incoming email that you get, ask yourself this question: can I deal with this in just two minutes?

If the answer to that is "yes," then you should work on it right away. Otherwise, you may hit snooze on it for later or send it to its appropriate folder.

Also, check out the Inbox Zero method to methodically clear through and organize your inbox.

Set Weekly Reminders

Many people get email clutter simply because they leave unwanted emails there without addressing them. For instance, you may receive newsletters or emails you don't care to open every day, and you simply leave them there to delete later. The problem is that you never do, mainly because you postpone or forget about them.

A great way to ensure the emails don't stack up is to set weekly reminders to clear your inbox clutter. This will prevent the clutter from getting bigger, an action that often intimidates you further. The bigger the mess is, the more you'll want to leave it for later, which is why these reminders can help you stick to your cleanliness.

Use Different Email Addresses for Sorting

Sometimes, the best way to keep your inbox clean is to use different emails for specific purposes. For instance, you may keep an email address for personal emails and another one for work-related emails.

For example, Google allows you to have multiple email addresses under just one account. This way, your inbox won't feel like that drawer in your living room where you store every little thing imaginable. Even if you continue receiving emails, they will be somehow organized.

Use the Drafts Folder

Many people use their Gmail or Outlook inbox as a to-do list, leaving the email sitting there until they decide to address it. However, a good way to declutter your email inbox is to ensure it doesn't end that way. Anyone can add to that list the moment you get sent another email, which can cause you to lose your tasks.

A good tip would be to use the drafts folder to set up your to-do list. For instance, if you have important emails from your boss that you need to answer, hit reply. Once the draft is formed, you can archive the email to declutter your inbox. Don't directly delete the email, as this may delete the reply draft as well.

How Tatem Email Can Help

The theory of keeping your email folders nice and organized is simple enough. However, not all people have the necessary time to go through all of their email notifications. You may know all the tips and tricks to identify and get through the emails you don't need quickly, but even so, the task can be time-consuming.

This is where an email client such as Tatem can help you out. Created for speed and convenience, this connects with your email service provider and helps you go through your email faster. Our tool ranks among the best tools for email productivity.

There are plenty of benefits that you can enjoy, but the most popular are the following:

  • Email prioritization that breaks your inbox into important emails and low-priority emails
  • Keyboards and shortcuts for quick searches
  • Smart searches in emails based on keywords
  • AI text editor for quick replies
  • Keyboard shortcuts to save time
  • Intuitive user experience (multi-select, quick preview, bulk commands, etc.)
  • High-grade security, where your information is not stored in any database
  • Personalized design (dark/light mode, wallpapers, custom themes)
  • Reduced loading and interaction lag

Tatem is the first email client of its kind, using AI technology to help declutter your inbox and help you stay organized. The email management software is accessible even for those who are not particularly tech-savvy, making the decluttering process much easier for you.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are using Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Apple Mail, keeping your email inbox organized is not that difficult. You should just know which steps to take and be thorough. Once everything has been cleared, all you need is a bit of maintenance now and again.