Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Inbox Ninja

I have to admit something to you dear readers.  When I see someone's inbox that's holding all their email and has an unread count of any number over 10, my soul dies a little.  Pretty much every email program has free folders or labels.  There is really no good reason not to use them.  "Well gmail has a search function."  This is true.  But it doesn't always work.  I don't know if anyone else has trouble, but there has been many times I've attempted to search for an email and it came up dry, and when I finally found the email I was looking for, everything I searched was spelled and formatted correctly.  WTF gmail?!  Anyway....

I want to show you something.  My Gmail inbox.  Here's what it looks like:

The "Social" and "Promotions" tabs look the same.  A few things to notice: first off, the obvious one, it's empty.  Second, although I have around 35 labels, there are 3 visible on the side.  (Outside of the standard ones)

A quick tip, you may notice my top label is "....temp".  (I put the dots there so it comes in first on my list)  I use this for emails I don't need to keep permanently, but many need to reference again.  Order confirmations for example.  I hold onto it until I get my order, then delete it.  I'll save the receipt obviously.  My temp folders helps keep all my other labels a little cleaner.

I felt like sharing this today after reading This Blog Post from the "A Life Less Frantic" blog.  It lists out how EASY it is to go from a mess of an inbox to an empty one.

Every couple months or so, I go through some of the labels and delete things.  I have a label for my online hopping receipts, but I try to only keep a couple years worth and then delete anything older. Same with online bill payments, although I keep those for longer than a couple years.

As I always say "digital clutter is still clutter."  And clutter = stress.  You have to think of email like physical mail.  Sort it immediately and you don't have to worry about it in the future.

I hope this was helpful.  Or at least inspiring to see what an empty inbox looks like.  :)

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