Organise Your Inbox: Free Up Your Time

Organise your inbox to free up your time.

We all know that spending too much time at the computer can drain precious time, energy and even relationships.

If we can organise our work systems better, we have more free time.  One way of getting organised is by confronting your inbox!  If you can take a little time out to learn your inbox software, it goes a long way.  And by not letting our inbox clog up, we won’t miss the important stuff.

Here are my 10 tips for better organised emails:

  1. Set up your sub-folders.  This is incredibly easy; just right-click, create and name the new sub-folders in your inbox.  Then drag across and file away!   Leaving your main inbox less crowded – and it’s a big relief when you can see this!
  2. Tackle Junk and Spam – we all hate it! Make sure you have anti-virus software in place: this is a helpful guide:
    Be ruthless and as soon as you receive Junk, right click and ‘Block’ the sender.  Or subscribe to ‘’, a free tool that lets you mass unsubscribe from all the newsletters you don’t read!  Brilliant!
  3. Don’t use your inbox for storage.  Deal with it, file it, or bin it!
  4. Go through your Trash once in a while.  Do you really need 3 years’ worth of emails?!
  5. Use your Address Book properly.  If this is up to date with your contacts, then on email creation it will automatically find your contact, saving you time.
  6. Set up different Signatures.  This may seem a pain but so easy. In Outlook, create your email, select ‘signatures’ and ‘new’.  You can create an online business card here, or paste in a graphic.  You can also change fonts and colours.  Once saved, next time you create an email, when selecting ‘signatures’, an automatic list of your signatures will be ready to insert.  Gmail makes this even easier within its settings.  This also gives a much more professional look to your email.
  7. Use ‘Out of Office’.  In Outlook, choose ‘File’, ‘Info’, then ‘Send Automatic Replies’.  You can specify a time and date range. In Gmail, it’s under ‘Settings’, ‘Vacation Responder’.   You can also set up an email forwarding address to deal with urgent emails in your absence.
  8. Set up some ‘Rules’.  This is one of my favourite tools; emails from a certain sender can be automatically redirected, e.g. anything sent from your Mum could go to a ‘Family’ folder.  In Gmail, it’s called ‘Auto Filter’.
  9. Consider using a ‘Flag’, e.g. flag messages from your Manager a certain colour.  These follow-ups will appear in your To Do/Task list.
  10. Use the ‘Filter’ option, to only show certain emails, e.g. those that are unread or flagged.

You can of course, outsource your whole inbox to a Virtual Assistant who can manage and even respond to clients on your behalf.  I assisted one of my clients by looking after her inbox, which left her to get on and actually see her customers!  It meant she wasn’t wasting precious time and the business became much more productive. As a client, you may not like this lack of control at first, however, with good communication and a very organised inbox system, you will soon be rewarded with much more time.

If I can help you further, do get in touch here:



Claire Sheppard   CS Admin Support






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