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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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How to permanently eliminate a cluttered inbox


I've got an confession to make.... wait for it... I let my inbox get submerged. In fact before I went on holiday my inbox started to get deluged, and I couldn't find the important e-mails, let alone have the energy to find them. In fact, it was all a bit of a disaster for someone who happens to be the Chief Coach at The Efficiency Coach. Not quite 'on brand' is it....

The question is, how did I stop my inbox jamming up again?

Very simply, procrastinating on an over-flowing inbox just makes it worse, the problem doesn't go away, however hard you try. And believe me, I was wishing really really hard that they would all go away... As I looked through the e-mail (sort it by person) I realised that newsletters and forum updates were jamming up my inbox and hiding the important e-mails from both clients and potential clients.

I now have a very strict newsletter policy in place. If I have not given my permission to subscribe, I will unsubscribe and report as spam. If I have subscribed, I have set up a folder where all my newsletters go into. I then read them when I want some down time.

I've also put all the forum replies and updates which were jamming up my inbox into their very own folder & they are now sent automatically into this folder. Once again, I now read them when I want some down time. I was finding that social media was taking over my life and inbox in a bad way...

I've set up five TO DO folders, and sort all the new e-mail into these folders, and then allocate time to deal with each of the folders in turn. If the e-mail requires urgent action it gets red flagged to help me prioritise it.

These simple three actions have quickly removed all the clutter from my inbox, and I am now finding it easy to stay on top of the 50 or so new e-mails which plop into the box every single day.

One Response

  1. Response to permanantly elimating cluttered inbox

    Hi hj-townsend,

    I learnt from your post, it is good advice, that many of us probably should have implemented a long time ago.

    I do just wonder, although, how good you are at reading those ‘down time’ emails that have been ‘automatically’ filed. Emails seemed to have brought to us much more reading time than we really do have, should we wish to keep a balance of life & work.  Sounds like a good filing system though. I wonder what your thoughts are on this … 🙂

    Kind regards,


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Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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