Email clutter tips
Email clutter tips are useful personally and professionally. Your Personal and Professional Organizer recommends that you declutter and manage your email inbox the same way that you would declutter your paper mail. Email clutter happens when you don’t have a strategy for:
- Time management, productivity – how often and when to deal with email.
- Organizing – what to keep, what to delete, when to unsubscribe, and what to do with what you keep.
Time management and productivity tips that are easy to use:
- Delete or unsubscribe. The first time that you check your email inbox each day quickly purge (delete or unsubscribe) messages that you don’t need. Dedicate no more than 5-10 minutes for this task.
- Scan. Visually scan the remaining messages and if you can read or respond in 3 minutes or less do so. Otherwise, don’t open it yet.
- Delete. Delete any messages that you don’t need now or in the near future but want to receive later.
- Unsubscribe. Deleting emails does not prevent them from being sent again. It only takes 1 minute to unsubscribe.
- How to Unsubscribe from junk email
Did you know (US CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law in 2003. Under this law, the FTC enforces compliance with a few basic principles for commercial emails. Here are a few things the law requires)?
- All emails must contain a visible unsubscribe mechanism — this is most often a link, but can be an email address you have to send a request to.
- The unsubscribe link can take you to a page where you can choose the types of emails you want to receive, but they can’t require you to visit more than one page to unsubscribe.
- The unsubscribe process can’t charge a fee or ask for any personal information beyond your email address when you opt out.
- Your request to opt out must be honored within 10 business days.
- The email must contain a legitimate physical mailing address associated with the sender.
- The “From” field must be accurate, and the “Subject” must be relevant and not deceptive.
It is okay to unsubscribe and later re-subscribe. At busy times you may not want to be inundated with email clutter. Later on when you have more time and interest you can resubscribe to receive the information. Saving emails to read later almost never works and often, the information is outdated.
Email organizing tips include management and scheduling. Folders and a scheduling strategy will help. The first email management tip was to declutter your inbox and act on anything that took 3 minutes or less. This second email organizing tip is to schedule daily time blocks of time to:
- Read and respond to emails that take longer than 3 minutes.
- Create emails with a clear request in the subject line. Tell your reader what want her/him to do? Examples: FYI, review, respond by, no need to respond, etc.
- Use folders. Don’t over-organize and create too many folders. Also, don’t file every email. Folders that are labeled using broad categories can be very helpful for later reference. The same way that you would regularly review and purge your paper folders, you want to do that with your email folders. The benefit of using folders is that you can streamline what you keep in your inbox.
To get more email clutter tips from me by phone or online. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org