Email is one of the most used forms of communication. Most people use email for work, personal messages, and even for dating. Email is a vital part of online business, and it's almost impossible to run a successful website or blog without having an email address.

In a world where we are constantly connected, it's easy to see how we can get bogged down by our inboxes. A study from Microsoft found that the average office worker gets 121 business emails each day—and that doesn't count personal emails. So it's easy to let your inbox pile up.

Taming your inbox isn't easy, and there isn't a magic bullet to stop you from missing important emails. However, there are ways to manage your emails better and reduce your time on them.

Unsubscribe from Everything

We've all done it – signed up for a mailing list because you think you might want to buy something or because the sign-up form didn't have any field for "no" or "don't contact me again."

That's fine if you need to sign up for a newsletter or an occasional promotional email, but most companies don't stop there. They continue sending you emails regularly whether you need their product or service or not. This is annoying, and a lot of wasted time is spent reading junk mail that you don't need.

Be Organized

Add the people you most often communicate with to your address book. For example, if you're constantly corresponding with someone, add them to your address book and store their email address. When the time comes to write an email, all you have to do is click on their name.

Email Messages

The more people you communicate with regularly, the more you receive important messages. Set up a separate folder for messages from people outside your address book to ensure that it doesn't go unnoticed. Then check this folder periodically — at least once a day — so that if one of these communications goes astray, it won't take long for you to notice.

Pick an inbox management service based on how much information you receive. The more email messages you receive daily, the more likely it is that some of them will slip through the cracks. On the other hand, if your inbox tends to pile up quickly with messages from friends and family and newsletters and other advertisements, select an inbox management service that allows you to group specific messages appropriately.

Triage your inbox

Gmail's tabs are a great way to keep your inbox organized and manage incoming mail. When you receive a new email, try to determine which tab it should go in right away—this way, you can get the important stuff out of the way quickly. If it's an email for something specific—like meeting minutes—then put it in the "Work" tab so that you know where to find it later.

When setting up your inbox, make sure that the "Junk" and "Spam" icons are on the right side of the inbox. If you accidentally click on it while scrolling, you won't mark any emails as read.

Create filters and labels

Filters are an excellent way to manage your inbox and ensure that unimportant emails don't get lost in the shuffle. For example, if you use LinkedIn, create a filter for messages from LinkedIn members so that all your LinkedIn notifications go into the same place. This way, you'll be able to see them all at once without sorting through them one by one or having them get buried under all your other messages in Gmail. Similarly, setting up labels allows you to group similar messages together and quickly access them whenever necessary.

Imagine how much time you'd save if you could automatically route the most important emails into separate folders. For example, we create a "clients" folder where all our client communications go.

Manage Incoming Mails

This keeps all of our work emails in one place to quickly search through them or find a specific email later. But once an email hits that folder, it's gone forever (or at least until the next time we clean out our inbox). So what do we do about that pesky order confirmation that needs to be shipped ASAP?

We use filters!

Creating filters isn't as complicated as it sounds - the easiest way is by adding a label to any message. Then, when the filter is set up, Gmail automatically recognizes it.

Install the relevant plug-ins

Many email providers offer plug-ins that notify you when you have received an email. They can be a little annoying, but they can be beneficial if you have missed some emails before. You can sign up for email notifications on OpenedOrNot. Email Notifications

When you register OpenedOrNot, you will receive notifications via email; make sure you sign up for them first. Use multiple accounts. It is good to have more than one email account since most email clients also sync with Google accounts, Twitter, and other social media accounts. Turn off the preview pane.

This usually helps reduce distractions and helps reduce the possibility of missing emails since they won't be sitting right in front of your face all the time reminding you about them (and tempting you to read them). Turn off desktop notifications. This is something that most people ignore because they like seeing their mail icon.

CONCLUSION

Treating your email as a to-do list is also helpful — if there are multiple emails in your inbox that need to be addressed, create a task in your notebook or on your calendar and move them over once they're complete.

Inbox zero can be a frustratingly elusive goal. Even email experts admit that they don't reach inbox zero every day.

If you want to step it up a notch, consider using an app like Unroll.me that scans your inbox for subscriptions and unsubscribes you by following the sender's unsubscribe instructions 24 hours after you've unsubscribed. As a backup, it automatically trashes all emails from that sender, letting you manage them without leaving Gmail. Although a paid version has added features, it's free for essential use.

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