Today is a great day to organize your email. Seriously. Tackling this before the new year will let you start 2009 on the right foot, free and clear of email clutter.
In my quest to organize my accounts (yes, accounts...plural) I came across this blog post: The Monster Blog: Trying to Organize Your Email? Keep it Simple. I really, really like the idea of having only three folders to organize. Currently I have a dozen or more including to do, follow-up, saved, etc.
One thing that I've done for the last three years that I like is to have yearly folders. Sometimes I just need to clear out the ol inbox and stare at a clear blank box for a while...something about that sooths my mind, even if I have 10 items in my to do box. I really do try to keep clutter to a minimum though.
What is email clutter?
Subscriptions to magazines, ezines, catalogs, yahoogroups or anything that you get on a regular basis that you've read or haven't read or just don't intend to read. This is different from spam because you may have read the last issue, but just don't have time or interest to read this one.
Email clutter also comes in the forms of auto responses. Some services like PayPpal send autoresponses (though they're cutting down in 2009).
When you see email clutter just delete. But if you're not sure if you'll need it again, consider leaving/archiving/saving it.
Here's an article with 10 more tips for conquering your inbox.
More to come
Obviously there are lots of other things you can do to be more efficient via email: using your email client to its full potential, plugins and extras that make life easier, an organized address book, signatures, etc. I'll talk about those more in 2009.
To Do TODAY
Today, concentrate on deleting the old, organizing and archiving and respondng to the new. Then clean out the inbox (by archiving or using a 2008 folder) and take a moment to breath easy. You're ready (at least until that next email comes in) for the New Year.