Most people agree that having a full email inbox is stressful. Everyone processes information in different ways, but organizing your inbox can help you stay on task throughout the day and make your more productive.

Delete any email that is either useless, you have already replied to, or you do not need to take any action on. Shockingly easy, yet I always find some of these emails and always wonder how they got there. Rule your inbox with a tight fist and delete Borders coupons and Expedia travel deals when you know you will never use them.

Sort your emails into folders. I use three different labels, “waiting on”, “review/later,” and “do now.” Theoretically, you can use your actual inbox as “do now.” If you want to keep your inbox empty, move immediate tasks into “do now.” Use “waiting on” for emails that require some information you do not yet have. “Review/later” is for emails that are not time sensitive, but need attention when you have time.

Email is convenient, but it can be a pain. Get organized and make it work for you.

(photo: Somewhat Frank)