5 Tips to Keeping Your Inbox Organized

Email plays an important role in our daily lives, whether it’s personal or business. And we all get tons of emails, whether we want them or not. We’ve all had the terrible experience of missing an important email or not being able to locate it in the mess of what we call our “inbox.”

You can avoid that infuriating scenario by following these five tips to keeping your inbox organized.

1. Get rid of spam as soon as it comes in! Either set up junk filtering, or add message filters, to reduce the garbage that can quickly take over your inbox. More tips are in the DreamHost panel, but our friendly tech support team is happy to help, so just ask!

2. Use message filters in conjunction with specific folders to move mail immediately to a preferred location. Do you shop online a lot (who doesn’t?!)? In that case, a separate folder for orders and shipping notifications will keep you sane. Your email client should tell you if you have any new mail in any of your folders, so no worries about missing those.

You could also use this for mail that you want to keep for a  longer time, but don’t want to keep checking your entire inbox to find it a year later. For example, I use this for tax purposes. Even though it’s automated, you can certainly do a manual sweep sometimes to make sure everything is in the right place.This solution works well if you create a reasonable number of folders. (Unless you’re as organized as my boyfriend, who has a folder for just about everything and almost nothing in his inbox …I envy him :D )

3. Use your email client’s built-in filters for the same purpose as I mentioned above, in tip #2. Depending on which client you use, this could be simple or slightly challenging, but it’s still a good option in a pinch. Using the message filters from the panel is more convenient if you use IMAP to check your mail, as it happens on the server, and you’ll see the same result no matter what client you use to check your mail.

4. Use the inbox archiver feature (click edit next to your email address) to automatically move old messages out of your inbox into a separate folder. You can define the age of the email you want to move, the size that your inbox has to reach before the move happens, and if you want to move unread messages too. Please note, you can’t turn this completely off, and you can’t set the size or the message age to unlimited, so eventually, some of your mail (depending on the size and age of your inbox) will be moved from the Inbox to the archive folder. If there’s mail that you don’t want archived at all, refer to tip #2 to create a separate folder for them.

A quick note: it may be worthwhile to clean out this folder occasionally, and just back up the mail on your desktop if you need it later.

5. Not inbox-related, but still a good tip: delete your trash! Many email clients can automatically remove messages from the serverwhen you delete them. If that commitment scares you, then just set a limit on how long your trash folder holds messages before they’re removed. Again, if you ever feel like keeping a message longer, but don’t want it in your inbox, move it to a specific folder instead of deleting it!

All the tips above are especially important if you use a webmail client often to check mail. They weren’t designed to handle large volumes, and every time you log in, your inbox loads, which can take a looong time – especially if you’ve stashed lots of mail in there!

That’s it. By implementing at least one of these tips,  you’ll significantly cut down the size of your inbox, and along with it some stress!