Digital Declutter: Email

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Digital Declutter Part 4: Email

Organize Your Email with Ease

Let’s Take Out the Trash 

If you’re anything like me, email quickly piles up like a mountain of trash. The key to getting it clean and keeping it clean is to get organized. Here are eight essential tips for tidying up that digital clutter so you’re in control of your email inbox.  

A Clean Slate

To start organizing, there are three things  you should do to give yourself a clean slate. Dealing with the past is the first step toward a brighter future. 

  • Delete everything you don’t need.
  • Unsubscribe from mail lists you don’t look at often. 
  • Archive emails you want out of your inbox but don’t want to delete forever.

Now that you’ve done that, it’s time to organize what’s left and set up a structure and routine that will help you stay organized from here on out. 

Email Step 1

Email Set Up


Set up folders so that you can easily reference back to emails of the same category. Every email should have a place it belongs.

Folder Examples:

  • Account Information
  • Work
  • School
  • Kids
  • Hobby/Club/Organization
  • Review later
  • Read for fun
  • Events

Sample folders in Google Drive

Regularly update and go through your folders. Delete or archive emails that are no longer needed.

Step 2 for Email

Flagged Folder


Instead of keeping flagged messages in your inbox, create a flagged folder where you keep important mail. This way your inbox can be as lean as possible. Some email clients automatically create flagged folders, but the emails remain in your inbox. Figure out which you prefer.

Step 3

Distinct Email Accounts


Create separate email accounts for different aspects of your life. Create one for work, one for your personal life and one for promotional emails/bulk mail. Each email account should have a time and place for when it should be checked. For example, check your personal messages in the morning before you go to work, check your work email at work, and check your email with promos and fun articles when you get home from work.

Step 5 of Email Setup

Delete Email Honestly


Whenever you go through your email, delete emails you consistently pass by or mentally block out. If you know you aren’t going to revisit it, be honest with yourself and delete it. Even if it’s from Mylio.

Step 5

Apply Auto Rules


Lastly, create rules for emails you consistently want to have a certain action applied to. You can create rules so emails with particular senders or subjects will automatically go where you want them to. This keeps your inbox clean and saves you from having to do all the organizing yourself.

Sample of Email Rules

You might find yourself adopting one or all of these tips. The key to staying organized is finding a method that works for you and is maintainable. With the help of these tips, may your inbox look and feel better than ever. Happy organizing!