Working Girl How To: Spring Cleaning Your Email

blogphotoBy Molly Berg

To many, spring cleaning means a fresh start and a new beginning. We clean out the clutter in our lives and implement a new system of organization. Spring cleaning is celebrated in areas all over the world, including Greece and Cyprus, who designate Clean Monday as a public holiday.

While the home is the most common application of the phrase, spring cleaning can be applied to other areas of life. A great place to start is the email inbox, where we often neglect emails and drafts of the past. Here are some simple and timely ways to keep your messages up-to-date:

Don’t be afraid to delete. Read through emails and determine how many are truly important. Newsletters and chain emails can easily clutter up the inbox. Deleting can relieve stress and help you concentrate on tasks-at-hand.

Save the contact information. While cleaning up messages, you may accidentally delete important info. Make sure to save your contacts (especially of supervisors, associates and clients) before you go through a round of deletions.

Keep the folders to a minimum. Think of your emails in terms of simplicity. Instead of keeping a folder for just one person, group as many similar emails as possible. Having folders named “Friends”, “Family” and “Bills” will help simplify the way you look at emails.

Unsubscribe from chain emails. Sometimes we delete pesky emails instead of blocking or unsubscribing from them. Instead of deleting, click on the unsubscribe link from chain emails, especially when you don’t know how you were subscribed in the first place.

Check your junk mail. Although it’s not often, important emails can be re-routed to junk email. Periodically check your junk mail to see if you’ve missed anything. It’s also a good chance to clear out old messages and refresh your space.

Get an app. Apps exist for all kinds of tasks, including email clean up. Try Incredimail, Birdseye or Talker to get your emails in order. Best of all, the apps are free and easy to use.