E mail concept Modern Laptop andThere are so many people who struggle with inbox woes daily. It’s not uncommon for people to have upwards of 3000 pieces of email in their inbox and a lot of them aren’t even read. Sometimes it seems like there’s just no way to get a handle on it, but I promise you, there is.

Right now, go to your inbox and look to see exactly how many emails are in your inbox. You might cringe, maybe you don’t even want to look, but just go take a peek. You have to know how bad the problem is before you can take steps to resolve it, so go look.

With technology getting better and better and people becoming more reliant upon it and since it’s always readily available, email it seems, is here to stay. So that means that you have to get a grip and gain the upper hand. If you don’t it will be and will stay out of control. An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter and it can get just an out of hand and be just as much of an issue as physical clutter in a space.

So what do you do to start the process of gaining control and eliminating email overload? Go back to your inbox and take inventory. What’s there? Ezines or newsletters you signed up for but haven’t read; emails that you’ve read but kept because they have useful information or attachments that you need?

If there are lists you subscribed to because you wanted particular information and you got it and used it, or didn’t, it’s time to unsubscribe from those lists. If the information is still of value to you, meaning that you can and will use it, save it in a document, bookmark the link or if you use Evernote save it there and keep it moving. Same thing goes for those precious attachments you’ve been holding onto via email. Download them to an appropriate folder and delete the email.

Once those things are gone, look to see what else is there and more importantly WHY it’s there. Get rid of the obsolete things and if there are emails you need to archive, create folders for them and start the drag and drop process. Keep it up until you’ve cleaned it up.

Once you’ve cleaned up your inbox, create some rules for yourself and some new habits. When you check email read, reply, download, archive and delete. Set up filters and related folders for email from lists you want to stay subscribed to so those emails go directly to their designated folders. You can do the same for emails related to particular clients or projects you’re working on. If your inbox is really overloaded it might take a few weeks to get things under control, but it can be done.