Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Simplify Your Life Series: Decluttering Your Inbox

Happy Tuesday Friends! I hope your week has been going well so far and you've not had too hard of a time getting back into the swing of things after the weekend. 

Today I wanted to start a sort of mini series called: Simplify Your Life.  One of my biggest stressors in my life is the fact that I can never seem to find things when I need them and the resulting feeling of disorganization and chaos.  I consider myself a very organized person, but for some reason when the work/life balance gets out of whack, everything else seems to fall to pieces.   Thus my goal for 2015: go through every part of my life and simplify it.

For today's Simplify Your Life post, I am going to talk about decluttering your inbox.

How many of you have several hundred emails that come into your inbox daily that you honestly do not have time to even begin to look over? Do you collect them in your inbox until your inbox has thousands of unread emails (ahem Justin) or do you start mass deleting your emails without giving them a second glance?  

I myself am a mass deleter and on more than one occasion I have deleted an email that was important and realized when it was too late that I missed out on a great opportunity (either with a good coupon or an email from a friend).  So I began to search for ways to organize my inbox and make that one part of my life a bit more simple. 

Organizing Your Inbox

If you are a GMail user, you may have already noticed the neat "tabs" function that they provide for users.  As you can see below, I have mine divided up into Primary, Social, Promotions, and Updates. 
  1. Primary: Holds emails from actual people - information, updates and the occasional order confirmation
  2. Social: Anything that comes from FaceBook, Twitter, or when I get comments on blog posts
  3. Promotions: This is exactly what you would expect it to be: promotions.  Coupons, updates, sales, deals, etc.  
  4. Updates: This tab holds any updates; i.e. Order Conformations, Shipping Updates, Bank Information, Online Account updates

By having these four tabs, I have already made my email reading experience a bit more enjoyable as I can quickly search for a tab that has the email that I need without sifting through the "junk" emails.  However, sometimes GMail does not get it right and an email gets lost or thrown into the wrong category.   It rarely happens, but it has, so GMail has given you the opportunity to define which emails go into which box.  That way, if you notice an email not going where you would like, you can assign it to the proper category. 

All you need to do is right clink on the email and move it to the correct folder, and from then on, any email from that person/company will be delivered to that box.  Pretty neat huh? 

Getting Rid of the Junk

Have you ever received an email and thought, "Did I really sign up to receive this?" Trust me, it happens often and majority of the time you did not sign up for that particular company's emails, but signed up for their affiliate and they sent your information on to their partner.  In some cases, the emails are great and you can really enjoy reading them, but most of the time it is not something you want to waste your time reading and end up deleting.

Enter the unsubscribe function or as I call it, the get out of my email button.

I use this button when I receive emails from a company that I either a) know I did not sign up for emails from or b) feel their emails are no longer relevant to my needs. 

On the bottom of most emails, you can find a button that says "unsubscribe".  If that button is not present, you will see something along the lines of the image above.  Take a minute to click the link and remove yourself from their mailing list.  It really is that. simple. 

By doing this, you are removing your name from their list which means you will no longer receive that unnecessary email in your inbox.  Which in turn means you will have to waste less time sifting through your emails.

Let's Get Started

This is an easy 15 minute way for you to declutter your inbox without too much angst or too much stress and in the long run you will be saving time.  Think this is something you can do? 

Question of the Day:
What ways have you minimized clutter in your life? 

I'd love to hear from you!

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