So today I did a massive clean-up, a digital clean-up. If I knew how much time it was going to take I would have probably have cleaned the house, top to bottom. I was thinking if some of those files were a sandwich, maggots were the least of my worries.
Firstly I started with the desktop. Who reading this has just thought, I will save this item on the desktop so I can access it quickly and then just left it there. Like an old bookshelf brushing the cobwebs off I started moving them back, I even had a folder on the desktop called “desktop cleanup“ from where I had last tried to clean it.
Now, what was worst then that was my “downloads” folder. This is more like buried treasure, you can really go back through your (internet) history. Filled with photos, documents applications, you name it. If you’ve searched for it, it’s probably here.
Finally it came down to my emails. I on average get roughly 1300-1500 emails a month. From every website that I’ve subscribed to, constant updates from social media, barrage of work and work applications and finally the miscellaneous, which as it sounds is anything and everything else.
Here are some tips for your email so that you hopefully don’t have to go through the same pain. Don’t let me get you wrong, you may have to do some initial dumpster diving but if you do these little things, hopefully it won’t get too bad in the future.
Start Off Clean
First things first, I’m the realest. And to truly make sure that you don’t end up in this situation is that you need to start off fresh. You can go with my approach and sift through years of build-up. Alternatively if you don’t really care what’s actually on your emails (and computer), you can burn it all. I mean delete it all.
Check Your Settings
With your social media pages like Facebook and LinkedIn you should go through and check to see what you get email notifications on, and turn them off. If your phone has push notifications and you’re constantly checking these pages anyway, you don’t need a second or third reminder that some random has commented on a link that you were tagged on.
It was amazing the amount of websites that I had signed up to, it was a reflection of all the hobbies and fazes that I had ever gotten into. Find that unsubscribe button and click away. I noted that I get about 1300-1500 emails now, however before this step, I would be tripling this number.
Now this is the clincher that will get everything back to normal. It’s the equivalent of buying new books and containers and the appropriately named folders at the beginning of each school year. Now just like each subject of class here are some folder names that you may include:
- Accounts - This is for all the initial emails for when you sign up for a website, also include password resets and anything that may have a member number attached.
- Appointments - This is for all your appointments and request for meetings. Think of this as your in-email calendar, especially if you’re also struggling to keep your calendar together.
- Finances - This is for any purchases, statements, payslips, or love letters from your bank. Though the next two may also be considered financial as it involves your money, it helps when searching for specifics later.
- Purchases - Now this is optional, if you’re a serial online shopper like me this is a good place to store any online receipts, shipping information and confirmations.
- Tickets - Again optional, if you find that you are attending lots of events, then you should create an additional folder. It is also great if there was any other additional emails in regards to you having to get those tickets.
- Trash - If you are a hoarder like me and can’t see anything let go, think of this as your online recycling bin. You’ve thrown it away, but it’s there just in case.
- Work/Personal - If you’re using a personal email, label it work, if it is a work email, label it personal. Though you should try not to cross these emails together, there is always a few that slip through. This way you can keep these two worlds separate.
So if you are sick of seeing the pages and pages of emails in your inbox, or ever had trouble trying to find that event ticket, or that overdue notice, fear no more. Take the high school approach to getting your emails in order.