Use the KonMari Method on Your Email Inbox With These 4 Easy and Joyful Steps
Has the little red bubble in the corner of your phone's mail app reached an embarrassingly high number? (Mine's 2,864 and counting.) If it's more than just the new batch of emails you woke up to this morning, it's time you KonMari your inbox.
When you finally tackle the pile of papers on your desk with "the life-changing magic of tidying up," it's time to get your electric affairs — word documents, Google Drive, photo albums, that "miscellaneous" folder on your desktop — in order, too. The emails that have been racking up in your inbox since you started your job, the ones you said you'd read later but never do, and the ones that come from a subscription list you only signed up for to save on your first (and only) order are a good place to start.
The KonMari method has two parts: first, discarding; then, deciding where to store things. And with these tips to tidy up your mailbox, it's as easy as it sounds. Keep reading to see them all now, and prepare to have your virtual life clean and organized!
Empty Your Email's Junk Drawer
Start the discarding process in your email's "junk" folder. Chances are, most of the emails in there are actually junk that you can get rid of with the click of a button. Is it spam? Report it so it doesn't pop up in your mailbox again. Is it from an email list you subscribed to that's basically become spam? We're all guilty of hitting subscribe for 15 percent off the first order with the intention of unsubscribing later, but never actually do. Do it now.
Ask Yourself: "Does It Spark Joy?"
Moving to your inbox, the selection criterion you should use is one simple question: does it spark joy? The goal of the KonMari method is to choose what you want to keep, not what you want to get rid of. For example, my coworker keeps the emails with company morning news because she likes them, aka they spark joy. I, on the other hand, get what I need from them and move them to trash to make room in my inbox.
Eliminate the Essence of "Un-Joy"
In addition to adding more joy, the KonMari method emphasizes the elimination of the "essence of un-joy." If just seeing a subject line in your mailbox makes you frown, control, alt, delete it. These could be trash emails that are out of date and no longer functional, like an expired coupon code for a limited-time sale.
Organize by Category
While you can't store by physical material — cloth, paper, or electric — you should still sort your mailbox by category. Organize your emails by tags and in folders (and subfolders). Think of your inbox like your Pinterest feed and the folders as the boards you pin to. Create folders that make sense to you and are specific, without over-categorizing for easy retrieval.