Are You Managing Your Email Inbox…Really?

March 15, 2022

Written by Lucy Dominguez, SPHR, MBA,CPLC

Principal | Lighthouse Resource Group

Are You Managing Your Email Inbox…Really?

I would like to start by saying that I am a procrastinator when it comes to my personal email inbox.  I do pretty good with my work inbox for the most part.  This week at a breakfast meeting with my mentor I was challenged to do something about the some 5k emails in my personal inbox.  I had so many excuses, not to mention the fact that I had 4-5 separate email addresses and inboxes with different organizations I had to keep up with.  Again, I was rightfully called out for making excuses regarding my tardiness in responding.

He wouldn’t accept the excuses I offered and told me to close an account or do something about the backlog.  I had no intention of disconnecting entirely from those who only had one of my email addresses.  Once back at my office, I decided to take some action.  I deleted all the current emails in my personal inbox to clean things up and saved in a folder only those I truly needed.  Note: Unbeknownst to me, there is an option to send reoccurring emails or emails from select individuals automatically to a folder.  My coworker, Becky Mitchell, shared this helpful tip with me and told she that “I use the folders method to keep things and I delete/unsubscribe quite often too.” Here is how it is done:

Use an Outlook Rule to Forward Incoming E-mails to a Specified Folder

  1. Open Outlook and click on the Rules button under the HOME tab.
  2. Select Create Rule.
  3. A Create Rule dialog will open. Here you can select conditions through checkboxes (Refer to the image below).
  4. Click on Select Folder. ...
  5. Click OK. ...
  6. Now click on OK.

Okay now back to my actions, I then went to my work email inbox and cleaned things up; moving items, I really needed to save to folders and deleting the rest. My goal is to end each day with a clean email box…meaning empty!

The change is the now. I check my personal email 3 times a day and delete immediately after either glancing at, reading or responding. Once again, I also unsubscribed to numerous repeat offenders. This new action plan makes my day-to-day routine so much easier. Take it from me….clear out your email inbox each day.

The bottom line is this – I was convinced when I was told there may be people sending me emails wondering why I don’t respond, and some may have important messages for me. There may even be clients or prospects trying to reach us and you and I are completely unaware. So, now I religiously review, sometimes read, and delete 3 times a day. It may be different for you but whatever your method is, get in there and do something about the mess you may have!

Good luck!