Here are some ideas for keeping email chaos at bay: (Note: the ideas will work for all programs, although the keystrokes are MS Outlook).
- Go to your main Inbox. You may only have a few items in there, so you can ignore this, but others reading this have hundreds or thousands of items in the main Inbox (not sorted into folders, just sitting there). This situation is overwhelming, inefficient, and chaotic in the same way that having hundreds or thousands of pieces of paper and other items on your desk is overwhelming, inefficient, and chaotic. So recognize that fact.
- Next, line up your main Inbox by date, just as you should the Deleted Items and the Sent Items (see previous post).
- If the email is more than 6 months old, delete it completely (highlight and hold down the Shift key).
- Depending on your situation, you may be amazed at the hundreds or thousands of emails you have just deleted. And guess what, the world is still spinning on its axis!
- Recognize that this is just the beginning of getting your email chaos at bay–and be proud of yourself for starting!
Be sure to check out the 7 Sane & Sensible Email Practices package for additional tips and techniques to keep email chaos at bay.