7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty – Part 7

#7: There are more appropriate places to store email messages

Today’s blog is the seventh and final post in a series of 7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty.

One of the biggest reasons you tend to leave message in the in-box is because you’re not sure where else you can store them. You don’t want to forget them (or lose them) so they are left in the in-box, creating lots of clutter and distraction.

However, once you get your e-mail folders organised it becomes much easier to move each e-mail out of the inbox.

  • If an e-mail is no longer needed, it should be deleted.
  • If you do need it again at some time in the future, it can be moved to an appropriate email folder (eg: Subject A, B, C or Client 1, 2, 3 or Project X, Y, Z).
  • If you have no folder for a specific e-mail, or you’re not sure which folder it should go to, or there’s not enough of this type of message to justify its own folder, you can move it to a ‘catch-all’ folder (eg: called ‘Reference’ or ‘Filing Cabinet’ or ‘Miscellaneous’).
  • If you have to hold the message while waiting for someone or something else to happen, it can be moved to a Waitlist or Pending Reply folder. Add a reminder to these so you stay in control in case the ‘someone’ or ‘something’ else doesn’t actually happen.
  • If the e-mail requires you to do some work, it should be converted to a calendar appointment, scheduling a block of time at an appropriate date and time to fit in with all your other commitments and workload.

Woo hoo – an empty inbox!

Once you made one of the above decisions about where to relocate each e-mail, the in-box is empty again. Every e-mail is now stored in an appropriate location, rather than left to accumulate in the in-box.

Why not check out these ideas to get your e-mail folders organised so you can keep your inbox empty and get e-mail under control?

All the best,

Steuart Snooks