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Electronic Clutter

Posted in 'Clutter' on October 24, 2008

Most people don't think about their computer when they think about clutter. When was the last time you went searching for an email that you had received or sent, but couldn't find it, or spent so long looking for it you got distracted by another email that you meant to action, but didn't get around to?

Flick away from this page for a minute hand take a look at how many emails are sitting in your in box. What about your sent items?

Let's look at some ways you can cut down on this electronic clutter.

1. Filing - Imagine all of those emails in your in box and sent box were pieces of paper sitting on your desk. Would you even be able to see your desk? Create some sub folders within your in box to file any emails that need to be kept. Delete the ones that don't. I find it easier to sort my emails by who I received it from rather than by date. That way you can see the history behind the emails and only keep the most recent ones.

2. Diarise. If there are emails that need to be actioned, set a reminder (with a date and time) for it to be completed. You'll be amazed at how annoying those little reminders can be, so it's easier to complete it rather than to keep postponing. Once you have completed the task, delete the email unless you need it for history, and then file.

3. Unsubscribe. We are all guilty of signing up to newsletters that we think we will get around to reading, but half the time they sit there unread until we delete them. If you have newsletters that you do this to, take 30 seconds to click on the unsubscribe button. If you have a quick scroll through and find an article you would like to read later, create a folder for newsletters and move it in there (after you have set a reminder date and time).

4. Delete. Do your deleted items get emptied every time you close outlook? If not, set it up so they are: tools..options..other click on Empty the deleted items upon exiting.

5. Schedule. Take 5 minutes every day to sort through your emails. A little at a time will get it under control in no time. I have some friends who by the end of the day have nothing sitting in their inbox. I'm not like that, but I try to never have more than 100. If I do, I stop what I am doing and give the delete button a workout.

Have a great weekend!

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