Tired of being buried in email? Lighten the load and reclaim your time! Just follow these easy steps to organize and automate your inbox!

Start with a new, primary email account. Use this account only for interaction with live human beings.

mail image via shutterstock

Use a secondary account for online registrations. You might want those Facebook updates and Groupon deals, but should they really be mixed with emails from your clients and peers?

Set up new folders in your inbox, and automate your email using rules. This is easier than you might think, and it will add precious hours to your day! For example, how many times have you been copied on email threads that don’t require your immediate attention?

Instead of stopping in your tracks every time you are copied on an email, set up a rule that sends the message to a specific folder. This allows you to focus on the emails sent directly to you.

You can set up more folders for memos, newsletters, etc. Anything that does not require your immediate attention should be automatically sorted!

folder image via shutterstock

Here’s how it works in Microsoft Outlook (most email services have similar functions and features):

To set up folders:

1. Right-click on “Inbox.”

2. Click on “New Folder.”

3. Assign a name to the new folder.

4. Select where you want to file this folder, such as under “Inbox.”

To set up rules:

1. Go to the task bar at the top of the page.

2. Click “Tools.”

3. Click “Message Rules.”

4. Click “Mail.”

5. Select “New Rule.”

6. Select “Conditions” and “Actions” for your rule.

7. Select “Apply Now.”

Voila! A few minutes of setup time will save you hours every day!

Here are more easy time-savers:

1. Sort messages by sender. If you have three messages from one sender, simply give the sender a single reply and cover all his questions. Another trick: Reply to the sender’s most recent email so that your response time looks impressive.

2. Use auto-replies in tandem with lead generators. Replies should be friendly and robust with additional links and information. You can still follow up with a personal reply if you wish. An automated reply beats no reply at all!

3. Unsubscribe from junk mail. Doing this sender-by-sender could take half of your life, but fortunately there is a new site called Unroll.me that simplifies the process! The service at Unroll.me currently supports Gmail, Yahoo and AOL and will be going fully live in the near future. You can sign up now!

Check out Chris Smith’s review of Unroll.me here.

4. Say no to spam! If you identify a message as spam, your email account should automatically catch similar messages from that sender and keep future spam away. Instead of just deleting unwanted messages, use your spam filter to keep them from coming back. Spam may be easy to ignore but it’s the No. 1 cause of inbox overload!

5. Close your email when you are working on other tasks! You’ll get through other tasks faster without the distraction. With fewer interruptions from email, you will be in better control of your day!

Congratulations! You have conquered inbox overload! Hoard this priceless information all to yourself, or be a hero and email it to a friend!

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