Sunday, February 12, 2017

My Minimalist Life: The Email Inbox

I spent the last 2 weeks visiting my family back in Missouri. During that time, I decided I could start my minimalist journey tackling something I've put off for a very long time: minimizing my email inboxes.  I have 3 email accounts; work, personal, and blog.  All of them had a total of 6,500 unread emails.  It took me one evening to get them all squared away.  Here is how I did it!

1.) unroll.me  

This might be the single coolest site for organizing your email inbox! One of my main issues is email subscriptions. Some I had signed up for and others just somehow magically appeared in my inbox every day. However, this service will search out your emails and give you a consolidated list of your email subscriptions. From there, you can mass unsubscribe, leave them in your inbox, or roll them into a daily email from unroll.me giving you a synopsis of all the subscription emails in one email. They also create an unroll.me folder in your email where all of these go marked as "read". Unsubscribe and roll up as many as you possibly can.

2.) Mass deleting

I always thought that the most I could delete at one time is 50 emails.  However, after a little research I discovered that if you click one email and skip down as far as you'd like to go, shift and click the last email in the section you'd like to delete, it will select all the emails in between!  This was amazing!  Made the process a lot faster!

3.) Asking myself, "Do I really need to keep this?"

Emails are kind of like stuff for me; I hold onto it thinking I may need it again. The fact of the matter is I don't end up needing it again. The only emails I kept were personal ones from family that I wanted to archive or financial service related posts that I knew I would need to revisit later. All my utility bill payment confirmations from 3 years ago?  Yeah...delete that mess.

4.) Consolidated my folders.

I had a folder for just about everything. Once I did the mass deleting, I was able to see I didn't need half of the folders I had and most of them could be rolled into another folder. Since I typically do an email search anyway and don't go looking through the folders, I knew this would be a workable solution for me.

After all of that, I realized a few perks. First of all, it freed up some much-needed space on my smartphone. Secondly, I could actually keep up with the daily emails I received. I knew exactly what needed my attention right now and exactly what was junk.  I already feel a little lighter and I was able to accomplish all that while being away from home!

How about you?  Do you need to minimize your emails?  How many unread ones do you have?

If you've started your minimalist journey, where did you start?

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