2. Delete unwanted emails
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need an email about a sale that ended last week sitting in my inbox.
Think of it this way: if a shoe brand emails you once a week about a sale, you’ll have 52 emails from them a year. Considering that you probably won’t need to read about sales that have already ended or new releases from last year, that’s at least 52 emails you can get rid of in one fell swoop per newsletter sender.
Find one of these emails, and copy the email address it’s coming from. Paste into the search bar so that all of the past emails from them pop up. Select all, delete, and watch your number of unread emails drop!
It’s such a satisfying feeling and is probably one of my favourite ways to do a quick email declutter!
3. Set up labels
I can’t tell you how much this has changed my life and made my emails so, so much easier to manage. I have 14 filters in my personal email address, and the one I make use of most is my ‘Newsletters’ filter (I think Gmail’s Social and Updates tabs are just really weird… though if you successfully use them, do let me know in the comments!).
To set up a new filter, go to your settings in Gmail, then Labels, and set up a few. I’d recommend starting with Newsletters, as that’s usually the bulk of emails. A few others I use are Personal, Ebay, and Paypal. For my business email, I have Orders, Resources, and Marketing to name a few. Basically, if you’re getting a lot of one type of email that you’d like to be able to sort through together, make a label for it.
Pro tip: you can assign different colours to labels! My favourite colour is pink, so all my Personal emails get a pink label. :)
4. Combine labels with filters
Now, it’s time for the exciting part with filters. By using this, you can set it so that every single email from Brand X gets marked as a Newsletter automatically, and you can even make sure it doesn’t even land in your main inbox or is marked as read immediately.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to filter emails as they come, or to select from existing messages. Whenever I get a new newsletter that hasn’t been labelled, I click ‘more’, then ‘filter messages like this’, which means that all emails from this sender will receive the instructions you’re about to give. Go ahead and click ‘create a new filter’.
This next page is where the exciting stuff happens. You can choose to archive all emails from this sender immediately (‘skip the inbox’), but the most important part is to apply a label. Make sure you also apply this filter to all previous emails from this sender with the little tick at the bottom.