Farm Progress

Clean out thousands of emails and save time.

Jessica Michael 1, Blogger

January 18, 2017

2 Min Read

My email inbox often drives my workflow. I strive to sift through my unopened email every day, but sometimes it takes control. I know I’m not the only one who can amass over a hundred unopened emails, and I know for many of you, that number is in the thousands! Cleaning and prioritizing your email inbox can help you to become more productive, and saves you time so you can focus on other farm office activities. Here are some ways to help you to clean and prioritize your inbox.

1) Opt out or combine your email subscriptions
I recently discovered a free service that searches your inbox for email subscriptions and allows you to unsubscribe, roll up into a combined email or leave as-is in your inbox. is easy to use and can help you to clean out subscriptions you no longer wish to have.

2) Sort by sender
View your email inbox by sender, and file or respond as necessary. If you have a full inbox, this is an excellent way to sift through the very important people that you need to answer to promptly.

3) Create a filing system
Create folders or categories in your email inbox that you understand. Create folders for projects, invoices, vendors – whatever works best for you. I recommend labeling these groups the same way you do paper files.

4) Set up filters
Create filters or rules to reroute incoming email to a dedicated folder or category in your inbox. Establishing rules can help you to move emails out of your inbox that you do not need to see right away, or only need to save for reference. For example, a rule may apply to a recurring invoice. You want to keep it for your records, but only need to review it when you are making a payment or to reconcile your business accounts.

5) Flag for follow-up
Ideally, you are responding to or filing away emails the first time you look at them, but if that’s not possible, establish a system for you to flag and follow-up on emails later. Make sure you set time to review and act on these flagged emails.

Do you have tips or tools to help clear out an email inbox? Tell me about it in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected].

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

About the Author(s)

Jessica Michael 1


Jessica Michael is a certified nerd who owns a technology solutions consulting business in Decatur, Ill. She has studied technology and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies and a Master’s Degree in Communication from the University of Illinois. Do you have a farm office or tech question?  Connect via Twitter @nerdsquawk or e-mail her at [email protected]

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