Top Ten Tips to Cure Inbox Chaos by Janet Schiesl, CPO

By admin
Dec 29th, 2012

email 2I often meet people who live an organized life in every way, except with their email. Why oh why? Someone who would never let their snail mail get out of hand may have hundreds of emails sitting in their inbox causing chaos in their head every time they look at it.

Try these 10 tips to cure that inbox chaos.

  1. Open your email a specific number of times a day. Maybe once in the morning, while you eat your lunch and at the end of the day. But make sure you follow tip number 2.

  1. Only open if you have time to deal with the emails that are there. Scheduling time to do this task will ensure that you get it done. Leaving loose ends untied will only cause more chaos. Don’t do it.

  1. Sort your email. Use Outlook (or some other program) to divide and concur. Studies show that doing similar tasks at the same time is more productive. Sorting will help you make sure that important tasks get done.

  1. Use a clear subject line. Communicate as much as possible (and maybe everything) within the subject line of each email. What a time saver! Try it. You’ll see.

  1. Use NNTR or NRN. Just like text messaging using abbreviations in a subject line can save time. Using “No Need to Respond” or “No Response Necessary” will cut down on the amount of responses you receive.

  1. Stop playing ping-pong. You know what I mean. “Yes”. “Thanks”. Those kind of emails are really not necessary.

  1. Have an extra email address. Get a hotmail or yahoo account to use when you are internet shopping, etc. Then all of the spam from all of the lists you get subscribed to will land there and not fill up your regular inbox.

  1. Update your virus software. Run the most updated version will ensure that you won’t have trouble (more chaos) created by a virus.

  1. Ask to receive no junk email. It’s hard to do, but friends and family can clog your inbox with cartoons, jokes and chain letters. Request that they don’t pass them on to you.

  1. Clean out your inbox daily. Sounds hard to do, but if you follow all the tips above you will be able to do it. Just like your PO box (you won’t leave mail in there), cleaning out your email inbox everyday will clear some of the chaos in your life.

A few simple practices will help your inbox (and you) stay sane. Start by making one small change to cure the chaos in your inbox. You’ll see the difference.

Janet Schiesl, CPO© is the owner of Basic Organization, a professional organizing firm in the Washington DC area. The Basic Team provides services to busy families, business owners, downsizing seniors and the chronically disorganized. We can teach you the skills to get organized and live a more simplified life, by providing you with ideas, information, structure and solutions to help you regain control of your space. You can find us at

SevenSaneIf you like these tips and would like more to help your writing goals you will want the Get a Plan! Guide® to Seven Sane & Sensible Email Practices part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion