7 Hacks To Declutter Your Email Inbox

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The email revolution has to be one of the iconic outcomes of the internet. You can email anyone, anywhere at any time and it will be delivered at a lightning-fast speed. It’s  TRUE on one side, it’s also TRUE that your inbox gets piled up with heaps of emails from senders.

I prefer keeping my ‘unread emails’ count to a lower register. However, doing so requires hours of mundane clicking on  all the emails till the count goes down. It goes without saying, there will be millions of people who would at least try to keep the ‘unread emails’ count to a minimum if not flat zero. It’s pretty unproductive especially if you are working full-time or out of schedule and this mundane task takes away the patience you might have for the day.

What can you do? Deleting all the emails at once isn’t wise since you might accidentally delete an important one  such as an invoice for a project you completed for a client. You can still go for deleting ‘Advertising’, ‘Promotional’, and ‘Social’ emails that results in wiping off a significant unread email count but you’ll still have a lot of grounds to cover especially those presumably ‘subscribed newsletters’ that drop in every week or so. 

Let’s see some of the tricks and techniques you can use to de-clutter your emails. Let us know in the comments how it actually worked out for you.

The Ballpark Figure

Gmail gives you access to 17GB and similarly, other email clients have specific storage available. These clients use storage to store all emails and other media files. On average, an email can take anywhere between 25KB to 25MB of space depending on the content, graphics, and attachments. That gives you a ballpark figure of somewhere between 680+ fully loaded emails to 6,80,000+ emails with bare minimum content. Of course, it is assuming that the entire storage has emails only.

With a whopping 6.8 lakhs limit on Gmail alone, isn’t it obvious that you won’t ever have to delete an email ever because the number is just too high? Turns out you are bombarded with hundreds of newsletters, social media and promotional emails, and whatnot which eats away the storage like anything. The idea here is, you expect to receive 10 to 100 emails a day related to work but there’s no cap on promotional and social emails that you might get a day. Trimming the fluff and declutter your email will free up the storage which is a win-win situation for all. 

#1: Trim Down Those Five-Year-Old Emails

Using a single email address for years ensures people can reach out to you without any hitch. Moreover, you can keep those old emails saved as they barely take up much space. But emails accumulate fast and that will fill up the storage and clutter your inbox.

Ask yourself if you still need those five years old emails for some reason. I am quite sure that most of the users have hoarded older emails assuming that they might need it someday but trust me, there’s only a handful of messages that you might actually need a few years down the line. 

The best thing to do is to get rid of those older emails. If you resent deleting them all at once, you can still save some of them by marking them as important or adding a label to it that we will get to in a bit.

First up, set the filter to search for emails older than five years, and delete them all. If you still have a lot of emails left, try for four years and three years that should get rid of a significant chunk of emails for you. You can even go as minuscule as one-year-olds although the practical application for the same differs from person to person.

#2: Delete ‘Unsubscribed’

One of the hacks that I got to learn is to search for a term or keyword. Usually, official email threads don’t use the word ‘Unsubscribed’ and it is almost always found on promotional email blasts and newsletters. 

Go to the search bar, type ‘Unsubscribed’, and check out many emails you get as the results. Once you have the results, tap on ‘Select All’ and then delete all the emails in one go. Of course, deleting these emails won’t relieve you from ever receiving these email blasts, but it will at least clear the inbox at the moment. It gives you time to reorganize emails smoothly.

#3: Clear Fluff By Keyword

Okay, I agree that I listed a similar hack earlier as well but hey, it was mainly targeted toward newsletters you often subscribe to deliberately,  willingly, or unintentionally. 

I have listed some of the most common keywords and key phrases that you can search for to get rid of those emails. It’s pretty obvious that your work email won’t contain phrases like ‘no-reply email addresses’, ‘Sale’ etc. You can search for a keyword one by one.

As we have evolved into beings who constantly attend virtual meetings on Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, these invites often clog the inbox as well. You can search for these emails and get rid of those too. The motive behind using these keywords is that it segregates emails into smaller chunks which is a systematic way to organize emails. In case you come across any important email, you can easily save it before it’s too late.

#4: Mass unsubscribe

Traditionally, you have to specifically open an individual email, tap ‘Unsubscribe’ mentioned on their header or footer, go to their landing page, and confirm the action. Quite tedious, right?

Additionally, unlike the previous hack where I mentioned deleting emails containing the phrase/keyword ‘Unsubscribed’, this tip deals with subscribing to those emails on a mass scale. There are a lot of tools available on the internet such as Unroll.me and Clean Email that let users unsubscribe to these newsletters automatically and in one go. Sounds amazing, isn’t it? Below are some of the tools you can try.

  • Unroll.me
  • Clean Email
  • SubscriptionZero
  • Leave Me Alone

#5: Add Filters and Labels

One of the nicest email organizing hacks that I ever came across was the filter and label system. Gmail along with other email clients enables adding filters that trigger the received emails to inbox to a pre-defined and separate label. 

For instance, someone working in marketing can create filters and labels to segregate emails by client, vendor, internet conversations, updates regarding ongoing projects, and upcoming projects with their namesake labels. For instance, I can  create a label for “ABC Mobiles”. Henceforth, all the emails from ABC Mobiles will get the said label. Whenever  I click on a particular label, all emails related to that very header will pop up the same. Moreover, you can add color coding to the labels so that you are aware of which color represents what.

#6: Do It All At Once

Different email clients have different options. Talking specifically about Gmail, you can create quite resilient filters and automate stuff. For this to work, you need to create a filter first. Navigate to the search bar and tap on the hamburger icon to view more search settings that will reveal fields like ‘From’, ‘To’, ‘Include the words’, among others. You can search for a keyword one by one.

You can mention the email address that you constantly receive from or don’t want to receive any further whatsoever. Similarly, you can add the ‘Subject’ and ‘Include the Words’ to further filter the emails. You can select the date range, if it contains any attachments, and the size requirements among others. Tap on Create Filter’ where you get a tonne of options. Select ‘Delete it’ or you can ‘Apply the label’ and create a new one stating that these need to be deleted and then, to it manually. 

Bonus: Bin it Bean

Finally, the bell of the hour is here. Once you get rid of all the emails from your primary inbox,  what do you plan on doing with the deleted emails? You do know that these emails are still in the ‘Bin’ or ‘Trash’ depending upon what client you are using. Simply navigate to this folder, Select All the conversations, and tap on ‘Delete’ or ‘Permanently Delete All’ or any of its synonyms. It’s done, you have basically John Wick-ed all those stray emails that were flooding your inbox for so long.

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