On a lot of my posts I add a quip that says, ‘And if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me!” and so many of you do, and that makes me beyond happy! But what doesn’t make me happy is when I’m scrolling through my gmail and I see that I’ve missed a few emails from months ago. I feel guilty and panicked! I want to reply to all of my emails, but sometimes they just get lost in the mess that is my gmail account.
I finally decided that enough is enough and I looked into figuring out how I can clean my gmail account up for good. Once every few months I do a deep clean and promise myself that I won’t let it get bad again, but it inevitably does. But now I think I’ve got it under control for good!
Stop the Spam!
First things first, I needed to unsubscribe to a bunch of mailing lists that I signed up for simply by being unable to say ‘no’ when storesclerks ask for my email at checkout. (Note to self: Lie and say they already have it from now on.) I used to search ‘unsubscribe’ in the search bar, but being subscribed to a lot of different sites made that impractical. I googled ‘how to unsubscribe from all mailing lists’ on google and found a site called Unroll Me that made this super easy. I just had to give them permission to access my email, and then they sorted through all of lists I’m subscribed to.
From there you will see a huge list of all the sites you are signed up to and you have the option to either unsubscribe or add them to you ‘rollup’ which will compile all the emails you get from the sites on the list into one email sent daily.
I kept all of the super important sites whose emails I absolutely didn’t want to miss, unsubscribed from all shopping sites, and added the rest to the rollup. I am super excited to not have to deal with a bunch of spammy emails every day!
Clean it up!
Now came time to get rid of the existing emails in my inbox. I had so many read that I simply haven’t deleted or saved to a folder, and so many unread ones sent by one of the many lists I just unsubscribed from. To start off, I referenced the list of emails I unsubscribed from, and I searched the sender in my search bar.
From there I searched for all of the unread emails, as those are the ones I most likely saw come in, wasn’t interested, and promptly ignored, and then sorted through them. To speed up the process, I hit ‘select all’ then scanned through and deselected the ones I wanted to save (there were only two or three per page.)
What I was left with was a bunch of emails that I needed to reply to or sort into folders. Like I said, sometimes emails get lost in the mix of my mess of an inbox – but I was shocked with how many! I had a page and a half that needed tended to, so I scheduled a chunk of time to take care of that later today.
As for the rest of the emails that were important enough to not want to delete, but not necessarily relevant: I sorted them into folders. What folders you need are going to depend on who you tend to receive emails from. My email is used almost exclusively for blogging and school, so my folders reflected that.
Maintaining the Tidiness!
Even using Unroll Me, cleaning my email took the better part of an hour (and I’m still not quite done – I have to reply to a ton of emails!) and I do not want that work to go to waste! Of course, getting less spam emails will help tremendously, but I will still need to do some maintaining myself.
You know how gmail has the 3 separate tabs for different types of emails? Well I found out that Google is actually rubbish at sorting through emails and I found a ton of important emails lost where they shouldn’t be. So I combined the three tabs into just one. You can do that by clicking the little gear on the right side of your inbox, selecting ‘configure inbox’, then clicking ‘primary’ and deselecting all else.
With all of my messages in one place, sorting through will be a lot easier, and I plan on making it a point to start sorting through my emails in the evening when I’m winding down for the day.
Enjoy your clean inbox!
What are your best tips for maintaining your inbox? I would love any additional tips that I can get so I never let mine get that bad again!