Dealing with e-mail can certainly take up a lot of time and energy and will usually occupy people for the first few hours of every day. Most of you out there can certainly relate to this, when you come in to work or when you open your laptop the first thing that you do is to check your e-mail and read through the new ones you have. It seems to be a compulsion to read as many e-mails as possible , there seems to be something within us all that makes are fearful of missing out on any information.

The compulsion to arrange your e-mail and get them read and dealt with can be quite difficult especially when it also applies to your personal mail. E-mails that might not even contain information that’s relevant get into your inbox in the thousands and every time you check your personal mail you’re bombarded with unread messages that flood your inbox.
To get your inbox organized, there are certain things that you can do. Here are some effective strategies when dealing with e-mail:

Use a spam filter. First off, spam can accumulate over time and some can contain links that might lead to harmful viruses and worms invading your computer. Most web-based e-mail providers have automatic spam filters in your e-mail account, however, if they do miss an e-mail which you consider spam then always mark it as such to avoid more e-mails from invading your inbox.

Personally I use a program called Spamarrest. I find it incredibly useful, it captures and deals with at least 99% of all spam and also is hugely successful entrapping viruses etc. Having used it now for over three years I just would not be without it.

Learn to unsubscribe. Subscription e-mails from numerous sites, offers, and magazines can be a good thing when they’re few and far between. True you can take advantage of good deals, but you have to admit, how often do you really read and actually sign up for the offers they advertise? Most often the answer would be never. While deleting these e-mails can be easily done, a more permanent solution would be to unsubscribe from them. Look for the unsubscribe link that usually comes with these types of e-mails, click on it and follow through so you won’t be receiving any more e-mail offers that can amount to hundreds of e-mails a day.

Use folders and filters. Create folders that categorize the importance of e-mails, label folders as read immediately, read today, and read during the weekend. The ‘read immediately’ folder can be where you apply filters for e-mails that need to have your attention immediately. These can be questions that you need to send out answers to post-haste. The ‘read today’ folder can be where you place e-mails that need your attention within the day but not immediately. Usually e-mails that get filtered here are those from social networking sites or event invitations. It can also contain the subscriptions you keep, but these should only be the important ones that you actually use like online auction houses where you bid or put up stuff for auction. The ‘read during the weekend’ folder can be the folder that contains e-mails from friends that contain anecdotes or fun facts.

One more thing that you should never forget is that an inbox is not a list where you keep e-mails to remind you what you need to take care of. Write down or put down a note somewhere reminding you to purchase the tickets for so and so but delete the e-mail that reminded you to do it. Don’t let your inbox rule your life, start using these effective strategies in dealing with e-mail.

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