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How much time do you spend dealing with email? Too much?

You really don’t have to. Don’t let email steal your time.

There are ways to get organized and decluttered. And there are great tools out there to help you along the way.

Some things you are doing may be completely unnecessary and you can just cut them out all together.

Read on if you’re tired of letting email steal your time…

1. Unsubscribe

Are you getting too much email in the first place? If you don’t have time to read them all, unsubscribe to the unnecessary lists.

There should be an option at the bottom of every email to “unsubscribe” or “opt out” of the list.

Don’t waste time dealing with emails you shouldn’t be getting in the first place.

Productivity tips

Make this process even easier by using Unroll.me, which allows you to unsubscribe with one click. Then you can roll up the subscriptions you want to keep into one email.

Unroll.me works with Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. Did I mention it’s totally free?

2. Don’t Use Folders

Why do you sort emails into folders that you know you are never going to open? You should just be deleting the unimportant emails, but for the emails you must keep, don’t organize them into 50 different folders, just use one (more on that in a moment).

According to this study, it’s quicker to use the search function to find emails, as opposed to sorting them into folders.

Using one folder: If you like the appearance of a clean inbox, simply create a folder titled “Archive” to file every email you must keep. When If you ever actually need to access one of those emails, utilize the search box.

3. Type Less, Type Faster

You can double your productivity if you learn to type twice as fast, but if that’s not practical or you don’t want to do that, just type less.

Limit your emails to a few sentences. There is no reason to type an essay when you’re answering one question.

At the bottom of all my emails, I include this sentence:

“My emails are kept brief to save your time and mine!”

It’s a simple and friendly way to let people know you’re not going to waste anyone’s time.

If you want to learn how to type faster, you can always try touch typing.

Productivity tips

Learn why touch typing is awesome here.

If you really don’t care to type faster, use speaking software to type.

4. Get it Over With

Stop multi-tasking. It doesn’t work.

You get distracted and get less done in twice the time.

When you open your inbox: Read emails, reply, delete, archive (if completely necessary) and be done with it.

5. Have Fun With It

If you dread opening your inbox, start having fun with it.

Be cheerful and humorous (if appropriate) in your emails. You may start to actually like going through your emails.

If you use Gmail, you can actually turn your inbox into a game with The Email Game.

By the way, if you do use Gmail, this is a great article for specifically organizing a Gmail inbox.

Final Words

There are several tips, tricks and tools to making email manageable. These are just a few.

Email doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun and it shouldn’t take up half your day.

Organize your inbox and keep it that way. You might actually start looking forward to it.

Resources Mentioned:

Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo, unsubscribe-me, Katie Krueger

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