In the digital age, email can be transmitted across the globe in a matter of seconds. We've come a long way from the days of screeching dial-up connections and that all too familiar "You've Got Mail!" AOL chime.
There's no denying that email has changed the way we do business and communicate. In 2023, around 347.3 billion emails are sent every day, equating to over 4 million emails per second. But what can you do when your emails become an inbox nuisance?
With these 10 handy email hacks, you can say goodbye to a cluttered inbox and hello to peace of mind.
1. Create Specific Folders and Labels
Email impacts elements of both our personal and work lives. That's why it should come as no surprise that the average person receives 100-120 emails per day with the average email inbox containing at least 200 emails at any one time.
This number can vary based on your usage needs. However, if your inbox goes unchecked for a few days, these emails can quickly build up. When you finally do check your inbox, it can be much more difficult to find the specific emails or senders you need.
Email hacks like folders and labels can make it easier to search for and categorize incoming emails. You can create an email folder to classify certain projects, topics, or sender clients. Establish a folder hierarchy with main folders holding broader topics while subfolders contain specific project or client data.
Take your folders and labels a step further by utilizing color coding. Outlook lets you assign meaningful colors to folders to find the information you need quickly. Gmail lets you color code your emails through its label feature.
2. Set Up Filters and Rules
Filters and rules are additional helpful email hacks you can use to further your email organization efforts. By setting precise email rules and filters, you can automatically help sort incoming emails to their desired locations. You can direct emails from a particular sender to go to a designated folder and eliminate the need for manual sorting.
You can customize your filters based on specific criteria such as the sender name and email address, subject, or relevant keywords. Email services will then use these filters to sort the emails to their locations.
For example, if you're receiving a lot of spam mail from a sender, you can set rules and filters to identify this sender and send these emails directly to the spam folder. With 60 billion spam emails sent between 2019 to 2023, this can be a saving grace.
Even with email automation in place though, it's a good idea to regularly check to ensure the right emails are being identified and sorted. It's also a good idea to configure notifications for specific folders as this allows you to stay instantly informed about crucial emails. You won't miss any important emails from a key sender.
3. Archive Emails Strategically
Email archive features are often overlooked as email hacks. Archiving emails is helpful if you want to keep a record of certain emails but you don't want to deal with them cluttering up your inbox. Rather than deleting an email you may need to reference again, just archive it.
It can be helpful to use the Archive feature as a to-do List. This means that once you've read or completed a desired action regarding an email, you archive it as done. This effectively turns your archive list into a completed task list and removes the email from your main inbox.
Once an email is archived, you can use the search feature if you need to find it again. Advanced search features like the To, From, and Date Sent sections can help you narrow down your options. This will save you the trouble of needlessly scrolling through the archives.
You can use tags or labels for your archive system as well. This will keep your inbox organized and properly categorized.
4. Focus on Priority Inbox
Many modern email service providers offer ways for you to distinguish between what emails should be considered a priority in your inbox. Your priority inboxes can be used as essential email hacks to help cut through email clutter.
Gmail's email service often helps sort and prioritize emails to the Primary inbox while sending others to the Social and Promotions categories based on email content. You can help train your email service further by telling it which emails are a priority. In Gmail, you do this by clicking or tapping on the "star" icon or the "important" marker next to it in the subject line.
Prioritizing emails lets you focus on the most important information first. You won't get sidetracked by less urgent pieces. This allows you to be more productive.
You can always your priority settings over time. The more you train your email services to identify what emails are the most vital, the more intuitive the system will become.
Starring or marking emails as important will also make it easier to find them later on in the sidebar menu under the corresponding email folder.
5. Unsubscribe from Email Lists
All of those email subscriptions seemed like a good idea at the time, but now they're clogging up your email inboxes and taking up precious space. Around 42% of Americanssubscribe to email lists to get sale offers and discounts. But sometimes these emails just become another nuisance and it becomes necessary to unsubscribe.
You can find the Unsubscribe link located in most emails and do it the old-fashioned way. However, some email subscription lists make it a challenge to locate and utilize the Unsubscribe link, often trying to entice you not to leave in the process. Not to mention, this can be a tedious undertaking when dealing with multiple unwanted email subscriptions.
Third-party apps and browser extension software can help you mass unsubscribe from these irksome emails. They enable you to select senders and groups of emails to unsubscribe from lists with just a few clicks.
If you're not ready to unsubscribe from these lists entirely, consider archiving instead. You may also have the option to request fewer emails from a sender or receive more condensed format emails.
6. Utilize Clear and Concise Subject Lines
Your subject lines are also a great source to use as email hacks. Always make sure that your subject lines are specific and reflect the content of the email itself. This will help you organize your email inbox and find the right emails later on.
Front-load your subject lines with important details at the beginning for quicker recognition. In your subject lines, you should also add action-oriented words. These will inspire you to take any necessary actions or complete a required response.
Encourage clients and colleagues to also utilize clear and to-the-point subject lines in their email communications and templates as well. This helps foster a better sense of professional communication. It lets both parties search for the appropriate information in inbox searches.
If you're looking to increase your responsiveness rate to your emails, using your subject lines effectively can also aid in this area. By offering a concise subject line, there's less ambiguity as to the reason for the email. This means it will be less likely to go unread.
7. Develop Shortcut Key Email Hacks
Shortcut keys are nifty little email hacks that can help you save time by performing common email tasks with just a few key commands. You can use email shortcuts for writing, finding, navigating, and even stylizing your emails instantly.
For instance, Gmail from Google has a ton of great key email shortcuts you can use to save some time while managing emails. These shortcuts are turned off by default, but you can access them by going to your Gmail settings under Keyboard Shortcuts and then clicking Save Changes.
You can even create custom email shortcuts by clicking on Advanced and then clicking on Enable next to the Custom Keyboard Shortcuts option.
Some notable Gmail key shortcuts include:
- Send a message: Ctrl/Command + Enter
- Undo: Press "z" to undo the very last action you took in Gmail
- Mute: Press "m" to mute the selected email conversation and archive it
- Important: Select important emails and then press "="
- Insert an email link: Ctrl/Command + K
Keep these email shortcuts written down on a Post-It or in a notebook by your computer to reference as needed. This will prevent you from making any mistakes in which shortcut keys you use until you have a better grasp of their memorization.
8. Engage in Regular Email Cleanup
One of the most common email hacks is also the simplest. While it isn't fun to have to sift and sort through piles of emails, it's often necessary. If your emails are taking up space in your inbox and you use a service like Gmail that caps its free storage capabilities, you may have to pay to upgrade for more storage.
Performing regular email cleanups can help you manage your email storage better and prevent you from having to pay for more storage. Gmail can also prevent new emails from being delivered if you've reached your set storage capacity.
It's a good idea to try to set some time aside each month or quarter to dedicate to email cleanups. Work on organizing, deleting, and archiving email content. Unsubscribe from any frequent email mailing lists that are contributing to your inbox capacity so you can stay under the imposed storage limits.
9. Perform Batch Email Review Sessions
Piggybacking off of regular email cleanups are batch email reviews. A batch email review is a process of devoting specific times of the day to managing emails. Instead of checking your emails multiple times per day, you only do so for a set amount of time at the same time each day.
For example, you can set a morning and afternoon schedule. Check your emails in the morning at a designated time like 8 am when you come into work and again after lunch. It's also important to only have a set amount of time spent checking and responding to emails like a max of 30 minutes.
The idea here is focused email management. It not only helps with organization but also with time management. Less frequent email checks throughout the day allow you to be more productive elsewhere. Always inform contacts of your email schedule to ensure you don't miss important communications.
You can also implement email templates as part of your batch email hacks. These pre-made templates help you manage emails faster with common or frequent responses.
10. Use Mailstrom Inbox Cleaner
Mailstrom's inbox cleaner is the ultimate in email hacks. Mailstrom can help you unsubscribe and delete thousands of messages from your inbox with just a few clicks. With the Mailstrom Block feature, you can stop bothersome spam mail from clogging up your inbox.
If you've got too many subscriptions, you can use the Unsubscribe feature to also easily remove yourself from these lists. This saves you the time and the hassle involved in unsubscribing from each list individually.
Mailstrom utilizes industry-leading encryption. With email services like Yahoo, Gmail, and Outlook, Mailstrom uses IMAP via OAuth2. This means it never has access to your password so your information stays safe and secure.
The Mailstrom Inbox Cleaner gives you control of your inbox back. Instead of unreliable AI tools that could potentially delete the wrong emails, Mailstrom helps amplify your human intelligence. You decide what's important and Mailstrom will take it from there.
For instance, Mailstrom can help identify related mail bundles. You can then act on these emails as a group. This innovative feature can help you cut through dozens to hundreds or even thousands of emails in a snap and even achieve Inbox Zero.
Organize and Clean Up Your Email Inboxes Effortlessly with Mailstrom Today
Email hacks can help you keep your emails organized, prioritized, and stylized. While everyone has their own email hacks that work best for them, adding Mailstrom can boost your efforts.
Mailstrom makes it possible to take control of an unruly email inbox. Clean up your email and be more productive with Mailstrom's array of helpful features. With your email inbox successfully managed, you can focus your attention and efforts on the other most important parts of your day-to-day life.