How to Win Against Your E-Mail Inbox

Outlook Rules 1 (2)

How to Win Against Your E-Mail Inbox

Outlook Rules 1 (2)

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to facing down your e-mail inbox like others face down dragons. When you’re up against a crowded inbox, it’s hard to know where to get started (or even find the energy). Have faith. It is possible to go from packed to clutter-free.

The first step is to set aside time to declutter your inbox. With everything else that demands your attention, this can be a huge hurdle. But even taking fifteen minutes to sort out things, like what needs immediate action, what doesn’t, and what won’t even need a response, can make all the difference.

When I first tackled this, I spoke with Eric Henderson, Rocket IT Services Manager and resident Inbox De-Clutter King. He recommended only keeping e-mails that still require a response in your inbox. If you can knock an e-mail request out in under two minutes, then do that and immediately shuffle that e-mail into the appropriate folder or archive it. And, if you’re worried about missing something that requires action, you can set flags with reminders for yourself.

If you have too many e-mails coming in that require action, then create a folder specifically for those items and a rule to sort them automatically. This is great for all those newsletters you want to read eventually, just not right now. You can also use them for any sets of e-mails you have coming in regularly that fit specific variables, like one common topic or sender. You can even sort your e-mails out by clients.


Once you click “Create Rule” from the drop down, you can create an Outlook rule based on sender, subject, and other variables.


Don’t be afraid to archive old e-mails. They’ll still be there when you need them. Trust me, you’ll save a lot of time utilizing the Search feature in your archive when you need to find something than you will scrolling around in your inbox to see what’s new and what isn’t.

You don’t have to spend every morning knee-deep in e-mails. Your Rules option and Archive button are about to become your new best friends and strongest allies in keeping the e-mail demons at bay. Trust a former resident of the inbox pit of despair; your mornings are about to get a lot more manageable.

Inbox Zero for Executives Webinar With Rocket IT vCIO Eric Henderson

As an executive, you receive so many emails in just an hour that it’s easy to get distracted and weighed down. How many messages do you currently have in your inbox? How much time do you spend just sorting through them? The fewer items you have demanding your attention in your inbox, the more time you have to stay focused on more productive tasks. It’s time to work towards your own Inbox Zero. Join Rocket IT vCIO Eric Henderson below for our Inbox Zero for Executives webinar.

Rocket IT security email updates promo image

Eric Henderson is the virtual CIO for Rocket IT, a technology company based out of Duluth, GA.  He received his B.S. in Management from Georgia Tech in 2003, and has worked in a variety of industries.  Eric serves on the National Board for 48in48, a nonprofit dedicated to creating websites for other nonprofit organizations, and on the Endowment Board for the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. He is passionate about technology, leadership, and seeing people and their businesses thrive. Eric lives in Atlanta with his wife Heather, and their two sons, Thomas and Jonas. He is also the tallest person at Rocket IT (by a fraction of an inch).