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Solutions For an Overcrowded Inbox

Awesome Email Management Advice

A friend of mine recently asked me what my best advice was for dealing with an overcrowded email inbox — and I unfortunately realized I wasn't applying any of the advice I could give to my own overcrowded inbox. But it's a common problem, and a ton of unread messages sometimes cause enough anxiety to ruin your day or, in extreme cases, make you consider declaring email bankruptcy. I've heard all kinds of solutions from different people — check email only once an hour, immediately file messages you receive — but none seem to work for me. Luckily, I found these suggestions to remedy a packed inbox from New York Times writer Nick Bilton:

"I don’t believe there is one panacea for in-box obesity. Fixing the problem will require multiple approaches. Some of them will have to come from the people who are partially responsible for this mess: the programmers."

To hear what's on the list,

The list of 10 ideas includes suggestions like, "Add the ability to take yourself off of an email chain," and "Add a 'Caution! Do you really want to reply-all?' feature." Some of the suggestions are meant in jest (like the one that suggests truncating all email messages longer than the 140-character Twitter limit, because, "do we really need more than 140 characters for most messages?"), but they're some of the most inventive I've seen lately. Do you have any email tips or tricks you use to keep your inbox at a manageable level?

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Advah Advah 7 years
Same here - work is Outlook (and at the end of each day if I can, or each week, I delete the emails I don't need or that aren't work-related), perso and freelance work are two gmail accounts that I always have open (that way if I get an email I see it immediately and deal with it or "star" it to deal with later), and all the rest is yahoo (Amazon, eBay, etc.). Yahoo and Hotmail drive me insane with their crazy amount of spam and their lack of user-friendly features.
mek123 mek123 7 years
I use different accounts for work, personal and website sign-ups. Also, I try to move emails to folders or delete as soon as I can so I can use my inbox as a to-do list for work. @Happsmjc, I still use my gmail on my iPhone.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
I do exactly what Chrstne does! I don't see how it is hard for ppl because I don't have to check my spam/internet/coupon email (which is a yahoo account) on a busy day if I don't have time. There is never anything important or time sensitive in there. It is wonderful not getting spam/junk mail in my main account. I'm on my gmail account (my main personal and work account) all day for g chat and i google so I read them or see them as soon as they come in and I am an avid deleting or filing. My friends laugh that I never have anything in my in box, but that is just my personality. I am interested in my Mac mail but have never had the heart to jump gmails ship...maybe when I get my iphone...
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
Well, sort of. The way I manage important versus unimportant emails is to have different accounts. I use one account to sign up for websites and things like that, and one account just for personal emails, and another account for work. By doing this, it eliminates the clutter in my inbox usually caused by random spamming, and newsletters and announcements from the sites I sign up for. And by having a different work email from a personal email, I never skim over anything that is important. It may seem like way too much work to some people, but it works for me. I don't know how my boyfriend deals with the hundreds of emails he gets JUST from places he frequents on the internet in his inbox.
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