A friend of mine recently marvelled at the state of my inbox; there were only six emails. When she asked how I managed to be so organised, I told her that having hundreds of emails in my inbox stresses me out, so the only emails that appear in my inbox are the tasks I have yet to complete fully – such as replying research, sending a media kit or getting my quarterly statement done. I showed her my simple folder technique; I use Google Business Mail and depending on what the email is about, every project I am currently working on has its own dedicated folder. I move emails into their corresponding folder if I am not required to do anything or if I am waiting for a reply. It's that simple!

However this blog post isn’t about telling you how organised I am - this blog post is about keeping life simple. We’ve all experienced a cluttered inbox jam packed with emails you will never need to read again or important emails that are buried in what I like to call the ‘inbox abyss’.

The purpose of simplifying your inbox is to be able to read and send email from one place, archive and retrieve emails easily, flag important emails but keep them out of your inbox, access emails from your mobile device but without losing essential functionality, and being able to enjoy having a clean and empty inbox. So to achieve all of this, below are my 6 ways to simplify your email.

TIP 1. Use Gmail or Outlook. In my experience I have found both of these email programs to be the most user friendly, clean and simple. I personally prefer Outlook because the filing system is more aesthetically pleasing.

TIP 2. If you have multiple email accounts, Gmail and Outlook can consolidate and redirect all emails to the one account. This is a huge time saver!

TIP 3. Clean up your account! Permanently delete as many emails as you can. Look at the structure of your folders and delete any that you no longer need and consider consolidating folders too.

TIP 4. Any items that need action, leave them in your inbox until they are complete. For all of your other emails, file them away into their corresponding folders. Therefore only the actionable items should appear in your inbox.

TIP 5. Do you find yourself constantly deleting email marketing that you never open? Take the time to unsubscribe – your inbox (and your sanity) will thank you!

TIP 6. Try to limit the number of times you check your emails every day. When you’re working on a document or project, shut down your email so you can completely concentrate on the task at hand.


Do you have any other tips for simplifying your inbox? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!