Declutter your Inbox

Everyone wants to be more productive. Something that is commonly associated with being more organised and productive is having an empty inbox. Reaching Inbox Zero means you have achieved your goals, and your life is in order.

But what about the tens or even hundreds of automated mailers you receive every day? It may not always be convenient to wade through them as and when they arrive, or you may want to file them to read later if they look interesting. But you don’t want them to get in the way of your real emails, the ones that make you truly productive.

I recently learned of a neat trick to help declutter your inbox and allow you to focus on the emails that really matter. Its extreme simplicity is what makes it so effective. Here it is:

  • Create a new folder in your mailbox and call it ‘Subscriptions’. I put this folder as a sub-folder to my Inbox, but you can put it wherever works best for you
  • Launch your favourite mail client or web client, create a new rule for incoming mail, and name it ‘Subscriptions’
  • Set the rule to:
    • check for the word ‘subscribe’ in the body of all incoming messages
    • move the email to the Subscriptions folder you created earlier
    • stop processing other rules (if this option is available)
  • If you have other rules filtering incoming emails, you may want to consider where you place the new Subscriptions rule:
    • placing it above other rules will mean emails may not be caught under the other rules, and will end up in the Subscriptions folder instead
    • placing it below other rules will mean all other rules will apply before the Subscriptions rule is applied

You should notice a decrease in the number of ‘spam’ emails in your inbox almost immediately. Don’t forget to check the Subscriptions folder a couple of times a day, and start unsubscribing to emails you really don’t want to see.

Enjoy the extra time you earn back by not having to plough through dozens of mindless emails every day!

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