11 Tips to Eliminate Your Overwhelming Email

Is your email inbox overwhelming? Maybe you are doing it all wrong. Take these tips and run with them to eliminate your overwhelming email situation.

  • Answer right away or pick up the phone.
  • Separate business and personal emails.
  • Never save emails in your inbox. Store in folders.
  • Delete, delete, delete. Just like physical junk mail.
  • Read your emails thoroughly to cut down on mistakes.
  • Set a time to process email.
  • Keep your emails and responses short. Make specific requests.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Use the search function.
  • Use clear, descriptive subject lines.
  • Turn off notifications.

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO were she has been named Organizer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.

She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.

Janet is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO were she has been named Organizer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

10 Comments

  1. Sabrina Quairoli on August 22, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Notifications in emails are quite annoying. On my computer, the notifications pop up all the time. I have to figure out how to turn them off. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Janet Schiesl on August 24, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      Hope you’re able to figure them out and have less notification clutter on your computer.

  2. Linda Samuels on August 22, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    I have one more way of eliminating email, although it’s not something I’d recommend doing. If you read my blog post this week (https://www.ohsoorganized.com/blog/twenty-self-help-strategies), you’ll hear the entire story. But the abbreviated version is I accidentally deleted the last 45 days of emails from my inbox. Yes. It cleared things out quickly…TOO quickly. It wasn’t my intent, but it happened.

    Your suggestions really hit home, especially after what happened. Thank you for the reminders.

    • Janet Schiesl on August 24, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      That’s one way to do it! I’ll have to head over to your blog to get the full story.

  3. Marie-France | Lifebook Leader on August 23, 2022 at 5:47 am

    Great tips, Janet! Once in a while, I also like to unsubscribe from email lists that no longer serve me. I’ll sometimes also create special folders for certain emails and have them go directly into those folders. They are then processed during my regular inbox cleanup time.

  4. Phaedra Studt on August 23, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    I could definitely stand to utilize some of these tips (especially not to use my inbox as a to-do list, oops).

  5. Julie Bestry on August 25, 2022 at 3:41 am

    I agree with pretty much all of this. I don’t think I’ve ever had notifications turned on in the 37 years that I’ve had email. I don’t listen to my voicemails as they come in or read USPS mail the minute the mail man arrives; why would I rush to read email on someone else’s terms?

    I’d add one more tip, and that’s to use the Rules function for your email platform. I never bother letting newsletters or non-essential email (that I still want) enter my inbox; they get routed to separate sub-folders (like for NAPO-POINT) which I address when it’s convenient for me. If all my mail came into my inbox, I think my brain would break!

    The only tip I don’t live by is the famed “your inbox is not your to do list” item because the only things I keep in my inbox longer than half a day are things that reflect tasks. Keeping them front and center is more motivating to me in the inbox than anywhere else in my system. But we’re talking about fewer than a half dozen emails, not an inbox of them!

    • Janet Schiesl on August 25, 2022 at 7:33 am

      I’ve been reading the recent POINT message about using your inbox as a to-do list and I’m sure you’d agree that whatever works is good. I’m with you on the notifications. I don’t need to be notified every time I get an email.

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