The University of Texas at Austin

Austin Exchange Messaging Service

Tips for Managing Your Inbox

An inbox full of unsorted, unmanaged emails can clog the system and slow down access to your messages. There are three things you can do to manage your email, whether you use Webmail or a desktop email program: clean, organize, and filter.

Cleaning

  • Delete what you won’t use — Stockpiling messages in your inbox slows you down in two ways; you spend time searching through large quantities of email and it makes the server work harder.

  • Empty trash and spam folders — Many email programs keep emails you've deleted in the trash folder. This takes up space on your account, so remember to empty your trash regularly and delete the contents of your spam folder.

  • Manage your sent-mail folder — If you automatically save copies of sent messages, remember to delete ones you don't need. Email conversations frequently include your original message.

  • Archive old messages — If you want to archive old messages, create storage folders on your local computer and compress and save old emails there.

    Caution: Archiving messages to your local computer does not guarantee the preservation of your files. Make sure to regularly back up your hard drive to preserve your archived messages.

Organizing

  • Create and use folders — Create and use folders to sort and store information you want to keep. This not only helps organize your information so you can find things more quickly, but it also it helps your inbox stay at a manageable size.

  • Download attachments — Since email attachments take up a lot of space, it's a good idea to save attachments to your local computer and then delete the message from your inbox. If you need to save both the email message and the attachment, save them both to your computer and delete them from the server.

  • Unsubscribe from all those advertisements — When you purchase something online, you are often automatically signed up for that company's mailing list. In no time, you'll be getting dozens of unwanted advertisements per day. Each of them should have an unsubscribe link at the bottom — follow that link to remove yourself from those mailing lists.

Filtering

  • Automatically filter your messages — Your inbox may become overloaded with messages if you leave it untended. Set up filters to automatically sort incoming messages into specific folders instead of your inbox. Check your email program's help on how to set up preferences or rules for email filters.

Last updated August 9, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

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