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Organizing your Inbox

written by: Hans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/25/2008

Numerous emails come in every day, and it doesn't take long for them to pile up. If you're having trouble locating important messages and are looking for some tips on how to better manage your inbox, read on!

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    Email Oveflow

    We receive a growing number of Emails every day. Most of them are completely unnecessary and unwanted. Only a few (experts count about 20% for German business accounts and 10% for German private Email accounts) Emails are really interesting, wanted, and required. Manually selecting which Emails to keep is much too time-consuming. Let's come up with automated and organizational solutions! This problem can only be managed properly when we combine two different methods - technical and organizational. Going only one of these two ways will not provide the benefit you expect.

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    Organizational Inbox Management

    Managing your inbox can become much easier if you try a few things that are available to everyone. We'll list some of these here.

    Use different, but not too many, Email accounts.

    Make sure to use one Email account for private messages. Free Email providers are available everywhere, and they provide a very high standard of Email management that is financed by advertisements. Your private Email address should only given to friends and family. Use a second account for shopping, community, and chat. The idea behind this is to separate your real life from your virtual identity. What you write, how often you use an account, and how you manage each account depends on the content you expect to read when logging in. These expectations are different in the real world and cyberspace, depending on the different activities we engage in on both sides of our lives.

    Business Email is not private mail.

    When your company gives you an Email account, you have to use it for business purposes only. Most companies make you sign a contract that contains a security policy (this is not just for Email). Depending on which state you live in, different laws may be applied to your data. Remember that your company pays for your email account. Thus, they only want to pay for business-related uses and not your personal hobbies.

    Limit newsletters and spam.

    Always try to think if you really want to receive a newsletter before you click on the "send me your newsletter" button. If you do receive a newsletter that you don't remember asking for, have a look at the bottom of the Email. A newsletter must have a button or email address that you can click so you can stop receiving it. The only problem is that some spam professionals use this as a way to verify your email account. Take some time each month to ask yourself which newsletters you really want to receive, and stop receiving all those you don't want to read. Having too much to read can be a stress factor, and getting a bunch of new material every day may make it seem almost impossible to read it all.

Office Tools Management

This series deals with some beginners or users problems of every day business when using computers anyway. Have alook at it to get some idea on how to reduce trouble you may suffer from every day.
  1. Organizing your Inbox
  2. Tips for Managing Your Inbox with Filters and Scanners